Heatwave effect: Street vendors report income loss, health issues in Delhi | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Heatwave effect: Street vendors report income loss, health issues in Delhi

Jun 15, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Researchers spoke to street vendors from 15 markets in Delhi, including Lajpat Nagar, Connaught Place and Khan Market

Street vendors in Delhi reported a loss of income during the prevailing heatwave and have suffered health impacts like headaches, dehydration and irritability, a new survey of over 700 street vendors across 15 markets in the Capital has found.

Among the health impacts listed by vendors, irritability was the most common, affecting 73.44% of respondents, followed by headaches (66.93%), dehydration (67.46%), and sunburns (66.53%). (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Among the health impacts listed by vendors, irritability was the most common, affecting 73.44% of respondents, followed by headaches (66.93%), dehydration (67.46%), and sunburns (66.53%). (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

The study was carried out to assess the impact of extreme heatwaves on street vendors’ health, productivity, and livelihoods in the city. It found that 49.27% of the 721 street vendors surveyed experienced a loss of income during heatwaves and 80.08% of them said there was a decline in customer numbers. It also found that 82.74% of vendors said there was a lack of guidance on managing heatwaves, and 71.05% said they struggle to access medical help during emergencies.

Researchers spoke to street vendors from 15 markets in Delhi, including Lajpat Nagar, Connaught Place and Khan Market.

Among the health impacts listed by vendors, irritability was the most common, affecting 73.44% of respondents, followed by headaches (66.93%), dehydration (67.46%), and sunburns (66.53%). Fatigue (60.82) and muscle cramps (57.37) also figured prominently.

The study, titled “Havoc – investigating the impact on street vendors,” was carried out by Greenpeace India and the National Hawkers Federation, in collaboration with Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts in Pune. It was carried out between the first week of April and May.

Randeep Singh, 37, a coconut vendor at Adchini in south Delhi, said the situation becomes unbearable from noon.

“The excessive heat often makes me feel sick. For the last two days, even eating my lunch has made me feel nauseous,” he said, adding that headaches and dizziness were common for him.

Manoranjan Ghosh, associate professor at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts said the installation of more drinking water points and restroom facilities were some basic interventions that could be made for street vendors. “The study urges the Delhi Heat Action Plan authority to consult with vendors and other outdoor workers extensively to address their vulnerabilities effectively,” he said.

Selomi Garnaik, campaigner at Greenpeace India and part of the study, said outdoor workers face serious health impacts and the report highlights the need for a policy for street vendors.

“The report also recommends providing essentials like water, sanitation, and cooling centres, and calls for a special fund to compensate vendors for income loss and extra expenses due to heatwaves, ensuring their safety and stability,” she said.

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