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Indo-Global Social Services Society

As a result of fragile construction and a lack of heat insulation strategy, indoor temperatures can rise to very high levels during heat waves, making it difficult for families to stay indoors. Children, the elderly, and women are particularly vulnerable to heat stress. Heat waves are one of the most dangerous natural hazards, but are often neglected because the damage they cause may not be immediately apparent, making it challenging for local duty bearers and administrations to provide support. Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) initiated a pilot project with the aim of addressing heat wave emergencies in communities in four locations in Delhi. The approach involved sharing knowledge, building community-level preparedness and structural mitigation measures.

In many regions of Delhi, the use of makeshift materials such as tin/asbestos is common among communities residing in slums. The living conditions in these houses are often cramped and overcrowded, with many family members sharing a single room. Lack of proper ventilation can lead to extreme heat during the summer months and also pose significant challenges during the winter season.

The men are primarily engaged in informal work such as daily wage labor, rickshaw pulling, and street vending. Some women are domestic workers and a few of them engage in home-based work to make an additional income. However, it is women, the elderly and children who spend most time indoors and hence bear the brunt of heat wave impacts.

IGSSS provided structural solutions with the installation of Agri-bio panels or heat insulators in the walls and roofs of 30 beneficiaries. Agri-bio panels are compressed Agri-fiber panels made of over 90% straw and a proprietary adhesive, providing strength and resilience in extreme conditions. They promote a circular economy by re-using natural materials such as farm waste in the manufacture of construction materials.

Fifty-year old Jai Prakash and forty-eight year old Omkari are two of the beneficiaries of the project. According to fifty-year old Jai Prakash, ”The agri-bio panels have provided some relief in summers..”


Temperature recordings have shown a 2-3 degree reduction inside the houses during summer.

“We used to feel very hot earlier. My hand and body would often get bruised in contact with the rough texture of the walls. Now the heat is reduced and it is also effective in the cold and retains warmth,” says thirty year old Nazma Begum with a smile.

IGSSS also works on improving awareness and sensitization on heat wave preparedness, minimizing the impact of heat waves when residents are outside their homes, and providing families with local solutions.

The project activities include focus group discussions, one-to-one dialogues, success stories, and digital storytelling.

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