Uttarakhand tunnel rescue: The celebrations for the safe rescue of 41 trapped workers from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand are underway. There is a festival-like atmosphere in the families of the rescued workers. People are still wondering how they survived for almost 18 days and the first 9 days without food and water inside the tunnel. Meanwhile, the workers shared their stories of resilience and hope.
Licked the water seeping from the rocks: Rescued worker
One of the rescued workers – Anil Bedia – said they had initially given up all hopes of survival. He narrated how he tried to survive his initial days in the tunnel by eating puffed rice and licking the water seeping from the rocks.
Bediya, 22, a resident of Khirabeda village near Ranchi, Jharkhand, recalled that ill-fated day on the phone from Uttarakhand on Wednesday morning, “Loud screams echoed in the air. We all thought, we would be buried in the tunnel and had given up hope of survival in the first few days.”
He is getting treatment in a hospital in Uttarakhand. He said, “It was like a nightmare. For the first few days, we licked the water seeping from the rocks to quench our thirst and survive on Muri (Puffed rice).”
Bedia said, “We saw the first ray of hope when the authorities contacted us after a few days.”
Bedia, along with 12 other people had gone to Uttarkashi from Jharkhand on November 1 in search of livelihood. Luckily, only three of 12 people were trapped in the tunnel. Of the 41 laborers trapped in the tunnel, 15 were from different districts of Jharkhand.
Rajendra, the only son of 55-year-old disabled Shravan Bedia of Kheerabeda, was also trapped in the tunnel. He was seen celebrating his son’s exit from the tunnel on Tuesday evening. Apart from Rajendra and Anil, Sukhram was also trapped in the tunnel for 17 days. Sukhram’s disabled mother Parvati was distraught after getting the news of her son getting stuck in the tunnel, but now she was very happy.