This book is based on research carried out in a few villages in South India, when they were at the threshold of their economies and society being exposed to new economic order. The chief concern was to examine the impact of the economic reforms on the poor with a focus on levels and intensity of poverty, social dimensions of deprivation, food security and the role of MNCs. The research itself was carried out with the active involvement of voluntary organisations engaged in helping the poor to combat several evils including that of poverty. This volume brings together several essays by specialists such as, V.M. Rao, Thomas Paul, B.P. Vani, K. Gayithri, M. Indira, besides a co-authored essay by the late professor M.N. Srinivas.