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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Mr. Rajiandai Bariam AIPP recommended volunteer at Food International Action Network (FIAN)

My name is Rajiandai Bariam and I belonged to an Indigenous people known as the Nagas in Manipur. I am passionate about the rights of the people and started my human rights journey and activism in Delhi. I obtained master’s degree in development studies from Ambedkar University, Delhi. I have been an active member of the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights which is one of the prominent Human Rights Organisation from the region and continues to participate and contribute to the rights pursuits.

I had been engaged in the process of AIPP through attending the regional youth leadership training and youth conference organised by AIPP in collaboration with UNDP and UNESCO Bangkok in Chiangmai, and attended a conference on Language Technology for all at UNESCO, Paris which had been recommended by AIPP.  I am also a Council Member of the Asia Indigenous Youth Platform and have been actively engaged and contributing to the development of the platform. The Asia Indigenous Youth Platform is a youth network of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

I also got opportunity to work and research on the Indigenous people and their food systems with FIAN International as a volunteer. AIPP had actively played a role in securing the only vacancy at the Secretariat in Germany.

My encounter with AIPP was a huge bolster to international experience and an eye opener to many issues of other indigenous peoples from Asia. I learned to take the ownership and shoulder responsibility with a vision stretched and a concern that grew more rounded and a personality and skills honed to tackle the huge, yet collective challenges unveiled before me. AIPP is very integral in giving voice, resource and experience needed for so many indigenous youths like me.

Fian International is a human rights group that works deeply with research and lobbying various stakeholders to subscribe to human rights standards with regards to food, nutrition, and livelihood of the people and especially the vulnerable ones. My work had also been to engage with the human rights violations in different countries in Asia in the pursuit of developmental projects by the government and the corporates. It also covers a lot on food systems and the voicing out the importance of food sovereignty and small-scale producers and indigenous systems of production that are being threatened.

The present work teaches and equipped me to research and to advance the cause of the vulnerable like the indigenous people by consolidating one’s legal knowledge and honing the knowledge and communication skills. It prepares me holistically with an international experience coupled with high work rigour and standards which are crucial to magnify the impacts we can have with the cause we pursue in safeguarding the human rights of all in general and the indigenous people specifically.

I am thankful to AIPP for giving me the opportunity to be part of FIAN International and very optimistic of all the knowledge and skills acquired during my volunteership will prepare myself and capacitate me for the future journey.