This study of the living conditions of Dalit agricultural laborers in Muktidih Village in southwest Bihar throws light on the problems they face in accessing the basic necessities of existence, including food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. Their tribulations are conveyed through their own testimonies. Bihar is the poorest state in India, where the highest proportion of the population (79.3 percent), live in multidimensional poverty. They experience a range of deprivations, including deficient diet, poor health, and lack of education.
Having shown that the lives of the laborers in Muktidih are part of a much bigger picture, Anand Chakravarti argues that forces based on caste and class located in the wider political economy of Bihar are antithetical toward ameliorating the conditions of those living in poverty. An outstanding example is the reactionary stance of various regimes in Bihar on the question of land reform.