Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union

HeatWatch and TGPWU write to Central and State governments and to NHRC on impact of heatwaves on gig and platform workers

As heatwaves intensify across the nation, gig and platform workers, such as food and grocery delivery workers; cab, auto-rickshaw and bike taxi drivers, and e-commerce courier agents are among the most vulnerable groups affected by heat stress. Nearly 46% of gig and platform workers report experiencing heat exhaustion due to increased outdoor temperatures. However, due to financial and time constraints, only about half the surveyed workers reported receiving a medical diagnosis for heat-related symptoms. Women workers are disproportionately impacted, as many report experiencing worsening menstrual cramps due to extreme heat. Several others complained of frequent urinary tract infections due to poor access to drinking water and washrooms.

These are the results of an ongoing pilot survey of gig and platform workers in Telangana, being conducted by HeatWatch and Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union. Of the 123 survey responses analysed thus far, a majority reveal the severe toll of extreme heat on the physical and mental health of gig and platform workers.

“The scorching heat this year is unbearable. I have frequently experienced fatigue, dehydration, dizziness, and nausea. But I can’t afford to take time off. I neither have paid leave nor health insurance”, a 33-year-old gig worker said. Shaik Salauddin, Founder and State President of Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union, said, “In the absence of formal employment benefits such as paid leaves, compensation for, and health protection policies, gig and platform workers are resigned to work in life-threateningly hot temperatures at grave risk to their lives.” Apekshita Varshney, Founder of HeatWatch, noted, “India has 7.7 million people working in the gig and platform economy. Yet, they continue to lack strong legal and regulatory policy frameworks related to occupational health and safety.”

HeatWatch and the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union have submitted representations on this matter to the Central and State governments and to the National Human Rights Commission. We urge the government to take immediate action and fulfill the following demands to protect the health and livelihood of gig and platform workers:

  • The national government should declare heat as a disaster under the National Disaster Management Act (2005)
  • Provision of amenities like clean drinking water, oral rehydration solutions, cooling facilities, hygienic toilets, and protective outfits at every 4 KM radius throughout the cities
  • Flexible work hours and mandatory breaks between 12 pm and 4 pm during extreme heat conditions with compensation to ensure no loss in wages during the rest period
  • Mandatory heat awareness and first-aid training for workers
  • Provision of doctor-on-call services and comprehensive health insurance
  • Implementation of early warning systems informing temperature conditions of the day

For media inquiries, please contact:

Apekshita Varshney, HeatWatch (+9190296 32570;;

Shaik Salauddin, TGPWU (+91-9642424799; +91-9177624678;

To learn more about the impacts of severe heat on gig and platform workers’ union:

Stream Gig workers ki Aawaz Episode 1: Urban heat by Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union |