This paper is part of a large study on the Social Protection in Rural India and China. In this paper, we attempt at a critical appraisal of the historical development and experience of social security initiatives in Orissa, India. Unlike in the context of Kerala, an unfavourable dynamics of historical conjunction of ecological, economic, social, and institutional conditions in Orissa has worked itself out to contribute to the high level of insecurity there. We argue that the failure of Orissa was in its inability to develop the forces of organization and mobilization into its logical end of participatory development process for a secured life on account of some unfavourable historical conjunction. It is also attempted in this paper to categorize the on-going social security schemes according to the definitional framework of our study, that is, in terms of the definitional division of social security into basic and contingent social security.