Ramanna Patil, 81, settles down with morning chai outside his 60-year-old home in Bhalki taluk of Bidar district. The sun is beating down with a vengeance as early as 9am in a district where temperatures soar to 47 degrees Celsius in peak summer.

FARMER'S PLIGHT: Bheemrao Manigempure and his son Shivasharanappa ploughing their field at Kadlabad village in Bhalki taluk. Jul 14, 2006

Ask the octogenarian what the 2013 elections mean to him. He says: "Nothing. It's another election . Someone will rule for five years and there will be another poll. Nothing has changed here for the past six decades." Before you dismiss him as a cynic, he is quick to add: "I haven't missed voting even in one election. We must vote so that the candidate I don't want misses that one vote. Over a period of time, inefficient rulers will go," he says.

A great example of hope. But the brick hutments on the Humnabad highway are hardly an indication of a place once ruled by the Nizams and the Bahamani kingdom. Bidar is rich in history and richer in resources. But its social indicators tell a sorry tale: the district figures in the bottom rung in the SSLC and PU rankings, and it is home to many malnourished children.

 Poverty stricken farmers pulling an ancient plow through rice field.