From Mumbai’s Dharavi to the world of fashion, this 14-year-old girl’s story will inspire you
Fourteen-year-old Maleesha Kharwa, who hails from Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, has become the face of luxury beauty brand Forest Essentials’ The Yuvati collection.
Kharwa was discovered in 2020 by Hollywood actor Robert Hoffman who was shooting a music video in Mumbai. Hoffman soon opened an Instagram account and set up a GoFundMe page for the girl. Today, Kharwa’s Instagram account has over 2.5 lakh followers. In recent years, Kharwa’s stunning looks and charming personality have earned her multiple modelling gigs, the latest one being with Forest Essentials.
In April, Forest Essentials shared a video on Instagram that showed the teen model entering their store which had her campaign photos. While sharing the clip, the brand wrote, “Her face lit up with pure delight, To see her dreams in front of her in sight. Maleesha’s story is a beautiful reminder that dreams really do come true. #BecauseYourDreamsMatter”.
The video has gathered over four lakh likes. Commenting on it, an Instagram user wrote, “It’s wonderful watch her savor her success!!! Blessings and much more success in future for her! ”. Another person said, “So happy to see this, and applause fr the brand in our country dusky girls were never considered to promote beauty brands, nw time has changed… she’s so beautiful ”.
While talking to Vogue about the Yuvati collection, Mira Kulkarni, the founder and chief managing director of Forest Essentials, said, “Through our Yuvati collection, we are not only supporting Maleesha’s dreams but also contributing to Project Paathshala to empower young minds. The brand will donate 10% of the proceeds from the Yuvati Selection towards Project Paathshala to provide children from underprivileged backgrounds access to education with the hope of a brighter India.”
“While Maleesha is the face of this campaign, what Forest Essentials is bringing to the forefront is the idea of dreams. The undercurrent here is that no matter where you come from, how big or small your dream is, dreams are for everyone, and all dreams matter,” Kulkarni added.