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Salem district has been in the forefront of the war against child labour in Tamil Nadu. It has a dubious distinction of employing children below 14 in both hazardous and non-hazardous industries such as silver anklet, weaving, construction, coir making, beedi rolling, brick kilns, automobile workshops, hotels and dhabas, stone quarries and in some industrial units thus forcing the government to launch an intense child labour eradication programme during 1995-1996. To monitor and spearhead the movement against this social scourge, the Union Government, under its National Child Labour Programme, formed `SMILE’ (Society for Monitoring and Implementation of (Child) Labour Elimination) with the Collector as its chairman. SMILE in co-ordination with revenue and labour departments have so far carried out 27,630 raids in various industrial units and firms and rescued many children. Read more at http://www.hindu.com/2008/12/15/stories/2008121555300100.htm

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