RHERI's story dates back to 1979 when the government decided to evict the two old villages of Rara and Chhapru from the Raja National Park in Mugu District. The 280 plus uprooted households, situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet, were resettled in the subtropical climate of Terai in Chisapani, Banke District, with minimal compensation for their homes and ancestral property. The community experienced severe climate, cultural, and economic dislocation. In response, community members organized themselves to address various challenges, including malaria, tropical diseases, snake bites, new agricultural practices, and access to safe drinking water. They also advocated for adequate compensation from the government for the evicted people.
After the physical relocation phase, education became a top priority for the community. Due to the lack of schools in the new area, a whole cohort of children missed out on education. In response, the community campaigned and materially contributed to the construction of a high school, which now benefits not only the resettled community but also the surrounding villages. It was this community initiative that eventually led to the registration of RHERI as a non-profit organization. Recognizing the need for access to books, newspapers, and reading materials, RHERI also established a community library in Chisapani.
RHERI has been actively involved in environmental awareness and social activism. When the government issued licenses for quarrying boulders, sand, and rocks from local rivers and frost areas, it caused serious
soil erosion and damage to the river ecology. RHERI has been working to educate and create awareness among the local people about the ecological consequences of natural resource extraction. Additionally, the organization has organized the community to demand the cessation of quarrying activities in the area.
With its commitment to inclusive development, community empowerment, and environmental sustainability, RHERI continues to make a positive impact on the lives of marginalized communities and contribute to the overall well-being of rural communities.