Meet Dharavi Girl Maleesha Kharwa, The New Face Of Forest Essentials

Instagram/Maleesha Kharwa

​The 15-year-old Maleesha Kharwa from Mumbai’s Dharavi has been making headlines for becoming the new face of Forest Essentials, a luxury Ayurveda beauty brand.

​Forest Essential’s Yuvati Selection towards Project Paathshala is a social initiative inspired by dreamers like Maleesha to provide underprivileged children access to education.

​Sharing glimpses of the campaign, Forest Essentials wrote on Instagram, “Our initiative honours this transitory phase in a young girl’s life. With this First Ritual, we celebrate her beauty and resilience. We aim to encourage, empower and enable these young minds to achieve their dreams no matter where they come from, and how big or small their dream may be.”

​For the unversed, three years ago, Maleesha was discovered by Hollywood actor Robert Hoffman while shooting for a music video in Dharavi. He also shared Maleesha’s story on GoFundMe, an American for-profit crowdfunding platform that helps people help each other through fast and safe social fundraising.

​Maleesha who used to live in a hut in Bandstand with her parents, brother, grandparents and uncle has now shifted to a chawl.

​Maleesha has also bagged two Hollywood films. Previously, she’s also featured in a short film titled ‘Live Your Fairytale’ by Arsala Qureishi and Jas Sagu. The film beautifully captures the emotions of five slum kids dining at a restaurant for the first time.

​With 235K followers, Maleesha also known as ‘The Princess From The Slum’ is a popular social media influencer. She’s not only worked with several brands but also featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan and Peacock magazine.

​Her story from rags to riches is inspirational for many. Maleesha aspires to be a supermodel to be able to feed her family.

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