There is a growing interest in poverty alleviation which is given high priority in current development assistance programmes. The United Nations has also declared 1997 – 2006 as the first UN decade for the eradication of poverty. Yet, inspite of this new commitment, the performance of poverty alleviation efforts are often disappointing. The latest estimates on world poverty indicate that 1.4 billion people had incomes below the poverty line in the year 2000. About 80 per cent of the poor live in rural areas in developing countries; half of them is in less favoured rural area. [World Bank] numerically, the most important sub groups of the “rural poor” are small holder farmers and the landless. Other sub groups include artisan fisherman; nomadic pastoralists, indigenous ethnic tribal; refugees fleeing from civil strife, war or droughts and disabled person and other families. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the world’s poor are women. India is the home to 22 per cent of the world’s poor. Such a high incidence of poverty is a matter of concern in view of the fact that poverty eradication has been one of the major objectives of the development planning process.