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One of the 41 workers rescued from the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi district on Tuesday night told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that they used to do yoga and walk in the tunnel to keep their morale up. One of the workers said that when the government could rescue Indians stranded abroad, they were within the country and hence they had no concern.

The Prime Minister, who had a telephonic conversation with the workers late Tuesday night, said, "I congratulate you for coming out safely after being in danger for so many days. It's a matter of happiness for me and I can't put it in words. If something bad happens, we don't know how we would have tolerated it. Thank God you are all safe." The Prime Minister's Office has released a video of this conversation, in which the Prime Minister is seen telling the workers, "17 days is not a short time. You showed a lot of courage and kept encouraging each other," he said, adding that he kept getting updates on the operation and was in constant touch with Chief Minister Dhami.

Officials from the Prime Minister's Office were also there, he said. But getting information does not reduce anxiety. All the 17 workers, who were trapped in the Silkyara tunnel for nearly 41 days, were rescued on Tuesday as part of a joint rescue operation by various agencies. All the workers are currently under the supervision of doctors, although the PM made it clear during the conversation with the laborers that the doctors have told that the health of the laborers is absolutely fine.

(This story has not been edited by the NDTV team; it has been published directly from the Syndicate feed.) )