The book is a narration of participatory development experience in the rural areas of South Asia. It is meant for both the professional and lay reader interested in poverty alleviation and rural development. The lessons learned in rural development based on the author's work over the last fifty years in various areas of South Asia are narrated in the context of "working within the system and living within the means". The basic principles of rural development are described through the process of engaging rural men and women to shape their lives. Inspirational contents of the efforts of rural people are combined with operational details of interaction between these people and professionals to ignite hope and offer guidelines for changing the lives of the teeming millions by mobilizing their own potential. The book would be of interest not only to professionals in the non profit sector but policy makers and development managers in the government because it offers insight about enabling government to reach the poor at the household level through social mobilization. The book is a valuable addition to the knowledge on people-centered development and evidence based advocacy for policy change conducive to sustainable development.