Here in Europe we have recently experienced some hot weather but spare a thought for those in the areas of southern India when temperatures regularly hover around 45 degrees. We asked Vasanth, TREAD’s Director who lives on the Sarah site in Podia, Odesha to bring us news of the living conditions in the area during the hot summer months.
Most of the families rest under the trees in the afternoons. Some women here are selling homemade alcohol.The bore wells run dry so the minimum of water is used. This impacts on animals who go to the nearest river or pond to quench their thirst.
Electricity is often off for 3– 5 days due to high wind so the families have to use kerosene lamps, candles and fire for cooking. Firewood has to be collected from the forest
TREAD’s children are kept indoors in the halls or under the trees where the holiday club runs activities and games as well as advice to avoid sunstroke and malaria.
Older folk are vulnerable to sunstroke,
whilst children and families are often short of food as the parents can’t always work in such hot weather. When they do go to work they have a choice of heavy manual labour or collecting forest products to sell.
People will sit in a market for hours trying to sell tobacco, alcohol or other local products.
Despite the difficulties, people still find time and energy to enjoy some music or celebrate a local festival.