12 June 2024 - India

India heatwave: Warning issued for four states as heat curbs outdoor play for children

Save the Children press release graphic

DELHI, 12 June 2024 – India’s heatwave shows no sign of abating as the country’s meteorological department warned of extreme heat in four out of 28 states on Wednesday, Save the Children said.

The warning comes after at least eight people died of heat-related causes in the eastern state of Odisha, with India grappling with one of its worst heatwaves on record, and temperatures touching 50°C in many regions of north India in recent weeks.

Children in India are currently on a school break but Save the Children staff on the ground say some are unable to play outdoors because of the high temperatures, while others lack access to air conditioning at home or other means of keeping cool. On 11 June the Day of Play was added to the list of global annual observances recognised by the United Nations, highlighting play as a critical developmental activity for children.   

In East Asia and the Pacific, around 243 million children are currently exposed to hotter and longer heatwaves than previous generations, putting their health and their education at risk. Children face significant health and developmental risks, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, with prolonged exposure to such high temperatures putting children at risk of long team heath issues.

Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Bal Raksha Bharat [Save the Children in India] said:

Play is crucial for children’s well-being and for their learning and development, but children in India cannot play outdoors during extreme heat events because this puts their mental and physical wellbeing at risk.

We’re calling on the government of India, civil society and the international community to take urgent action to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on India’s children. This includes advocating for stronger international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to implement advanced heatwave prediction and alert systems to prepare and protect vulnerable populations.”

About Bal Raksha Bharat 

Bal Raksha Bharat, also known as Save the Children India, is dedicated to improving the lives of children through education, healthcare, and protection. With a focus on ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive, the organization works tirelessly to address the root causes of child poverty and vulnerability. 


Notes to editors:

[1] https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indias-odisha-state-records-8-deaths-in-72-hours-as-heat-wave-persists-9384190/

[2] https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indias-odisha-state-records-8-deaths-in-72-hours-as-heat-wave-persists-9384190/


For more information please contact:

Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Global Media Manager (Asia): amy.lefevre@savethechildren.org

Geeta Lama, Manager, Media & Communication: geeta.lama@balrakshabharat.org

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