This paper examines immersion as a method for of knowing the community, ôliving the realityö and sensitising people to the lives of the poor. It analyses the context, rationale, design and ethics and use of immersion programmes. It looks at the application of immersions to ActionAid India including case studies. The first case study describes the process of a rural and urban immersion organised by ActionAid for staff from DFID (Department for International Development, UK) and the British High Commission in Musahar Village, Uttar Pradesh. It includes details on planning, practical arrangements and reflections for future immersion visits. The second case study describes the use of immersion for sensitising ActionAid staff and head-quarters planning. It describes the background, objectives and design of this immersion programme. It looks specifically at immersion with marginalised families and as an integral part of structured capacity building. This is followed by one of the participantÆs personal account of the immersion experiences from the village Bala. A brief report on the experiences of a participant from the immersion programme I Musahar village.