Photo: BBC Weather

Call for prayer during India heat wave

Sat 30 May 2015
By Aaron James

A Christian organisation in Southern India is calling for prayer, as the country experiences its worst heatwave in more than 20 years. 

More than 1,800 people have died in the last week, with weather experts saying the death toll could pass more than 2,000 before a monsoon is expected to arrive.

Southern states such as Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have been hit particularly hard by the heat, which has hit 48 degrees Celsius in some areas.

Many of the people who have died are farmers and labourers who have no choice but to work in the sun in order to survive and feed their families, and who do not have adequate access to water and shade.

The elderly and middle-aged have also been particularly affected.

Soloman Raj, from the Twin Cities Christian Youth Fellowship in Telangana, told Premier: "It's very hot, it's very horrible.

"Mostly the people are not coming out because of the heat waves... elderly people and some of the middle-aged people... they died with the sunstroke.

"This kind of weather we have never seen in my life, 'til today.

"Most of the churches, they have put the water camps, so they will provide free water for the general people. Whoever's thirsty they drink and they go.

"In some places they have giving [sic]... buttermilk, lime juice, lemon juice.

"The labourer, I feel very pity about them [sic]. They work, they get the money in the evening, so they have no other choice, they have no other option. They have to work... by seeing them we are feeling very pity [sic] for them."

"Because of this weather, people are not coming to church either... 40 per cent [of] people are not attending the church because of the heat waves.

"Just pray 'God, get the monsoon soon'. So that the temperature and the weather will be changed."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Solomon Raj:

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