RAP was started in 2000 with the Hile-Bhojpur road, but work stalled during the war. Resuming in 2006, it has provided employment to tens of thousands of farmers as it built roads in Bhojpur, Khotang, Sankhuwasabha and Terathum, and helped organise farmers into cooperatives. In 2011 the successful road-building model was extended to the remote mountain districts of western Nepal.
Gori Khadka, 63, is convinced the road will make the lives of next generations much easier. “When we are sick, we can be taken to hospital, and we can take our produce to market,” she says.
RAP has ensured that the road also provides long-term income to villagers by providing access to markets. Rara rural municipality has introduced the concept of ‘One Home, One Garden,’ helping villagers to set up apple orchards and vegetable plots.
Nandalal Baduwa, elected chair of Ward 14, cannot hide his delight when he says: “Our village has a new slogan, ‘Visit Baam and eat apples for free’.”
Read also: The Karnali, Ramesh Bhushal