A new era of economic success has begun in India in recent years. However, not everyone benefits. Hardly anyone notices the losers. This is especially true for the rural population in Tamil Nadu, one of India's most populous states. Life for the people here is hard. If the monsoon fails or a family member loses his or her job, the consequences are severe. Illness or death of a member can mean great misfortune for an entire family. Many who live from agriculture have been trapped in a vicious circle of poverty and lack of education for generations. The reasons for this are complex. For one thing, the pieces of land available for cultivation are becoming smaller and smaller as they are divided up step by step over generations through inheritance. On the other hand, modern cultivation methods and machines are lacking and often much is still done by hand or with the help of oxen. Water is the basis of life for the villagers to earn a living. Often there is no rainfall for several months, agriculture and construction cannot be carried out and there are no opportunities to earn money in these areas. Poor families, whose members often work as day laborers, suffer particularly, and inflation further eats away at meager incomes. It often takes years to recover economically from a long drought or monsoon-induced flood.