Baring some very strong early rains, the service areas (three districts) of Social Welfare Institute have been hit by an unusual dry weather since the middle of July. This has left farmers who depend on rain water to fall back on the scarce and already over exploited ground water and expenditures in the process. I am told that even simple household grocery item like green chillies which used to cost 20 rupees (about half a dollar) a kilo just three months back, has now hit 60 rupees in some local markets ($ 1.5). SWI did a survey in six villages as a sample in the three districts, to see the extent of damage done to the poor due to price-rise and non-availability of essential goods. The reports are alarming.... ranging from malnutrition due to partial starvation, increasing dependence on money lenders, unsafe migration in search of jobs, and sheer socio-economic exploitation. The days are hard and dry. The winter is looking up. More expenditures for the poor as the festival season has drawn near.