Satendra Kumar had been feeling unwell during the recent prolonged heatwave, sweating in his family’s one-room hut, but forced himself to go to work to repay the loan he had taken out for his daughter’s marriage. May 30, a Thursday, was particularly searing as he rode his bicycle to the workshop where he was employed as a carpenter in Aspura, 59km (37 miles) from Patna, the capital of Bihar state.

Once there, his health deteriorated, and Kumar asked his manager for a rare half-day off. On the way home, he lost consciousness under the scorching sun, falling off his bike less than 1km away from his home. By evening, his family’s frantic search for Kumar ended in a nearby government-run health centre, where he lay dead.