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An extended essay from Mark Tully, asking why malnutrition persists in India. Among the street children, beggars and pilgrims around the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin in central Delhi, he hears first-hand stories of need, but also some surprising things about what causes and aggravates the problem. The Indian central government has passed a 'Right to Food' bill, but millions of tons of grain still rot every year. The country's elite still lives far removed from the concerns of those who must struggle to eat. Could it be possible that the true root causes of lasting hunger are inequality and inefficiency, rather than a lack of food?

Introduced by Pascale Harter. Producer: Polly Hope.

Photo: A malnourished child finishes a special supplementary lunch at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) of Apnalaya - an Indian NGO providing free meals to children of manual scavengers and labourers from nearby slums at Govandi on the outskirts of Mumbai. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

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11 minutes

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Fri 27 Dec 2013 20:50 GMT

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