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Itanagar: Nine students from the Puroik tribe of Arunachal Pradesh received the Governor’s Excellence Award on Thursday in recognition of their academic achievements, a communique issued by the Raj Bhavan here said.

The recipients of the award are Jacinta Yakali, Yari Bechang, Laxman Bechangdao, Paji Yapa, Haye Danny, Ban Gram Yakli, Ruth Yachu, Eliza Puroik and Daniel Bechang.

The students have exhibited exemplary dedication and diligence in their academic pursuits, setting a high standard for their peers and embodying the potential for positive change within their community, the communiqu said.

The Raj Bhavan recognises their efforts and encourages them to continue their pursuit of excellence in their chosen fields, it said.

Puroiks are found in 53 villages in Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, Papumpare, Kurung Kumey and East Kameng districts. Earlier, they were treated as bonded labourers by other tribes.

The official census indicates there are around 9,000 Puroiks but members of the community claim there are over 20,000 Puroiks.

The Puroik community has long been an integral part of the societal fabric and this initiative by the Raj Bhavan underscores its commitment to the holistic upliftment of all sections of society, particularly the marginalised, the communiqu said.

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The Governor’s Excellence Award serves as a testament to the value that the administration places on education and empowerment as crucial drivers of progress, it said.

By recognising and encouraging academic excellence among the Puroik community’s meritorious students, the Raj Bhavan reaffirms its commitment towards creating a more equitable and promising future for all, the communiqu added.

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