Italian photojournalist Alessio Mamo has been courting trouble on social media after he released a series of photos depicting poverty and hunger in India. The pictures come from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, two of India's poorest state, according to World Press Photo.

These photographs are from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh two of the poorest states of India. From the series "Dreaming Food", a conceptual project about hunger issue in India. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [This project has been the subject of much online debate. Please read Alessio Mamo’s statement, released on 24 July 2018, giving more details and apologising for any offence: https://medium.com/@alessio.mamo/my-statement-on-dreaming-food-7169257d2c5c] ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My name is Alessio Mamo (@alessio_mamo) an Italian freelance photographer based in Catania, Sicily. In 2008 I began my career in photojournalism focusing on contemporary social, political and economic issues. I extensively cover issues related to refugee displacement and migration starting in Sicily, and extending most recently to the Middle East. I was awarded 2nd prize in the People Singles category of #WPPh2018 and this week I’m taking over World Press Photo's Instagram account. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Despite economic growth, a majority of the Indian population still lives in extreme poverty and disease. Behind India’s new-found economic strength are 300 million poor people who live on less than $1 per day. Government figures may indicate a reduction in poverty. But the truth is, with increasing global food prices, poverty is spreading everywhere like a swarm of locusts. These pictures are taken in rural areas where conditions are worse than in the cities and where close to 70% of India’s population reside today. Statistics show that 2.1 million children under 5 years old die of malnutrition annually. The idea of this project was born after reading the statistics of how much food is thrown away in the West, especially during Christmas time. I brought with me a table and some fake food, and I told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #WPPh2018#asia #dreamingfood #india

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Mamo, in an Instagram post shared by World Press Photo, said that despite India's economic growth, more than 300 million Indians lived under $1 every day. 

Source: Alessio Mamo

He also said that statistically, 2.1 million kids under the age of 5 died of malnutrition every day in the country. 

Source: Alessio Mamo

The idea behind the photos was to depict the food that was thrown away in the West, especially during Christmas.  

Source: Alessio Mamo

He said that he set a table with fake food and asked his subjects to dream about some food that they would like on their table.

Source: Alessio Mamo

Although social media users have not taken very kindly to the series and have called distasteful. 

The photographer has since released a statement about the infamous photos he took in 2011, explaining his side of the story and apologising to the people he might have offended.