In 1998, after the success of his path-breaking book The Great Indian Middle Class, Pavan K. Varma began to write a fortnightly column in The Hindustan Times called People Like Us. People Like Us sought to profile people and organizations that had somehow broken through the barriers of apathy, cynicism and alienation and found ways to contribute in personally satisfying ways to society, over and above their normal preoccupations.
The column People Like Us was widely read. It served to inspire its readers and help the individuals and organizations it covered. The book People Like Us puts together in one place the entire series of columns.