SALEM: Salem district has bagged the best award in the State for its activities on the anti-child labour front.
The district was selected for this distinction for identifying and rehabilitating child labourers. It had strictly enforced labour laws to improve the socio-economic conditions of the families of the children rescued from the clutches of those who employed them.
Labour Minister T.M. Anbarasan presented the award to Salem Collector N. Mathivanan at a function held at Chennai on June 12.
Officials of ‘Project Smile’ and various other departments have so far rescued over 19,700 children aged below 14 in the district.
Of them, over 12,600 children were enrolled in the mainstream education after a brief stay in special schools. Over 2,700 children were directly admitted in regular schools. At present, 2,000 children study in the special schools.
The administration has launched a number of programmes to increase the level of awareness among people against child labour. Efforts are on to provide assistance to the parents of the rescued children to help them take up income generation activities.
In Namakkal district the Indo-US project for child labour abolition rescued 4,680 children employed in various commercial establishments and factories.
Of them, 1,142 children were enrolled in the mainstream education. One thousand three hundred and twenty two children study in the transit education centre.
Namakkal Collector U. Sagayam said the administration was determined to eradicate child labour in the district and all labour laws would be enforced strictly.