Rising temperatures have engulfed the country. On April 28th, Mumbai recorded the highest daily temperature at 37 degrees Celsius, creating unbearable circumstances for those uniquely vulnerable to the heat, particularly informal workers. The lack of a comprehensive Heat Action Plan (HAP) in the city is increasing the effects of the heatwave on the health of those directly exposed to the sun for long hours.
To be able to conduct their businesses, street vendors in Mumbai adapt to these conditions and find unique ways to cope with the heat. Citizen Matters spoke to different vendors to understand their methods.
A pattern among most vendors is the need to change their place of business frequently. Some do so to follow the shadows of trees, some are at the risk of eviction by civic authorities. The precarious nature of their work, coupled with the heatwave, are difficult circumstances and often cost them their regular customers. But monsoon is underway, and while for some vendors this means more havoc, for some, it is a time of profit.
Many youngsters across Greater Mumbai have formed collectives to help co-create a more inclusive city. Their initiatives have received a big boost from the youth event ‘Making Mumbai’, part of the annual urban festival ComplexCity, organised by not-for-profit YUVA.