Microfinance — which has come to be celebrated as a poverty alleviation approach in the 1990s, thanks to the patronage it received from agencies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank — represents a paradigmatic shift from ‘direct onslaught on poverty’ to ‘growth-taking care of the distribution’ (Deshpande and Jyotishi 2001). The decade also ushered in the era of market-based and individualised solutions to collective social and economic problems, such as rural poverty. The emergence of micro-credit and microfinance as a poverty reduction mechanism, thus, is located within the ascendance of the neo-liberal ideology globally and in India by many critics (Joseph 2007).