This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
For Muskan, the arrival of summer in Delhi is the “beginning of hell.” As temperatures in her cramped, densely populated east Delhi neighborhood often soar above 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), she dreams of only one thing: air conditioning.
During the day, in the tiny, windowless kitchen where she cooks for her family, she often feels like she will collapse from the heat, and her health deteriorates. Nights are even more painful. Sleep becomes almost impossible in their single-room apartment.
Her three children, sticky and uncomfortable, cry out begging to be cooled down, and she wakes every five minutes to douse them and herself with cold water and wet scarves.
The single fan hanging from the flaking yellow ceiling does little to ease their woes, and the putrid stench from the sewage and festering rubbish means opening a window is imp... Read more