The International Meteorological Organization (IMD) forecasts an even hotter summer this year, as well as the fact that 14 people died of heat stroke in Navi Mumbai, we need to take precautions to reduce the risk of heat-related deaths and illnesses. The Heat Action Plan (HAP) that was developed in Ahmedabad in 2013 can be implemented anywhere in India to cut down on heat stroke deaths and injuries.

Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is a potentially lethal condition that occurs when the body’s system for regulating temperature breaks down.

If you are exposed to high temperatures and humidity for an extended period of time, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, losing fluids and electrolytes, and being unable to cool down through sweating.

Confusion, agitation, disorientation, seizures, loss of consciousness, and organ failure can all be symptoms of heat stroke, which is characterized by a high core body temperature, rapid heartbeat, rapid and shallow breathing, and rapid heartbeat.

Concerns: What are the root causes?

Does India not care about deaths and illnesses caused by the heat? The majority of Indians do not experience discomfort during heat waves because they are accustomed to the high temperatures. It is not a novel problem because the majority of Indian cultures have words for heat stroke, and people are aware of how serious it is.

Neglect of public health: The nation’s commitment to improving the nation’s public health is weak, and there are other urgent issues.

Not being aware: The level of awareness regarding the prevention of heat stroke is low.

• Heat waves have been pushed to the background due to the prevalence of communicable diseases and other health concerns.

• A paucity of research: the morbidity and mortality associated with heat stroke in India is understudied.

• Limited resources: both the infrastructure and relief resources necessary to combat heat waves are in short supply.

• A lack of political will and resources to prioritize public health interventions during heatwaves.


1. Repercussions on Health:

• Heat rash is characterized by sunburn-like pinkish skin that is accompanied by burning and pain.

• Vertigo, headache, and sudden drowsiness or unconsciousness are the symptoms of heat syncope.

• Heat Cramps: A fever that is lower than 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) can cause edema and syncope.

• Heat exhaustion is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and profuse sweating.

• Heat stroke is characterized by symptoms such as delirium, seizures, or coma with a core body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or higher. This could prove fatal.

2. The effect of this on labor and productivity is that workers in hot environments lose an average of 162 hours per year.

• Half of the workforce in India that is subjected to heat is made up of heat-vulnerable marginal farmers, construction workers, and street vendors.

• In agriculture, temperatures that are too high result in lower crop yields.

During the previous rabi season, farmers in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh were unable to harvest wheat.

• Livestock can be harmed by heatwaves.

3. The risk of not having enough food because extreme heat and drought are killing trees and crops.

• Heat-induced labor productivity losses will increase food production losses and health risks. 

• These interactions will raise food prices, lower household incomes, and cause malnutrition and climate-related deaths in tropical regions. 

• Heat-induced labor productivity losses will increase food production losses and health risks.

Taking Initiatives – “Structural & Functional Initiatives Taken”

Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan

There are five different aspects that make up the Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan (HAP), which aims to lower the mortality and morbidity rates associated with heat stroke. These constituent parts:

• Temperature forecasts are provided by the IMD for over 500 cities and all districts across India as part of the Prediction Alert System. The historical temperature data can be used by local governments to issue red, orange, and yellow alerts, depending on the severity of the heat wave.

• Raising awareness among the general public about how to stay safe during heat waves. Heat stroke can be avoided by staying out of the direct sunlight, carrying water with you, and taking frequent breaks.

• Prioritize Care for Vulnerable Groups, Including the Elderly and Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions. Heat stroke prevention training should be provided to traffic police, construction workers, and street vendors.

• The Annual Review recommends that municipalities and districts appoint a heat officer to oversee the implementation of HAP. Reviewing the plan on an annual basis can help identify areas that need to be improved and protect the most vulnerable individuals from death and morbidity caused by heat stroke.

INNOVATION “The Way Ahead” 

Long-term preventative measures taken by the government against heat waves:

• The effects of heat waves can be mitigated by the shade that trees and plants provide and by the carbon dioxide that they absorb. The government has the ability to reforest urban areas, including towns and villages.

• Paint your roof white or use roofing materials that are reflective to encourage the use of cool roofs. The government has the ability to encourage the installation of cool roofs in both newly constructed and renovated buildings.

• Extreme heat necessitates the consumption of potable water. Access to public water supplies can be improved by the government for vulnerable populations.

• Taking steps to reduce the impact of urban heat islands Heat waves are made more severe in urban areas by urban heat islands. The government can take measures to reduce urban heat islands by increasing the amount of green cover, cool roofs, and building ventilation.

• The risk of heat stroke increases during heat waves; therefore, the healthcare infrastructure needs to be ready. The healthcare infrastructure can be improved by adding hospitals, clinics, medical supplies, and training on how to recognize and treat heat stroke.

• Invest in the improvement of public transportation; having fewer cars on the road will result in a reduction in both heat and emissions. The use of public transportation could be increased by the government if its quality and availability were improved.

Energy efficiency: The government can encourage energy efficiency by conducting energy audits of public buildings and by promoting the use of energy-efficient home appliances.