[Watch] Dharavi’s Slum Girl Becomes Face Of Luxury Beauty Brand

New Delhi: In a case reminiscent of Slumdog Millionaire, 14-year-old Maleesha Kharwa, from Mumbai’s Dharavi Slum, has become the face of luxury beauty brand Forest Essentials’ new campaign ‘The Yuvati Collection’. Hollywood actor Robert Hoffman discovered Maleesha in Mumbai in 2020 and later set up a Go Fund Me page for the girl. Today, the 14-year-old enjoys over 225,000 followers on Instagram and often adds the hashtag #princessfromtheslum to her posts. In recent years, she has done multiple modelling gigs and she even featured in a short film titled “Live Your Fairytale”.

Now, she has been tapped as the face of Forest Essentials’ new campaign ‘Yuvati Selection’, which is a social initiative that aims to “empower young minds,” according to media reports.


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The video went viral within minutes and accumulated more than 5 million views and over 406,000 likes. Internet users praised Maleesha and congratulated her for the amazing feat.

“It’s wonderful watch her savor her success!!! Blessings and much more success in future for her!” wrote one user. “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,” said another.

A third user commented, “Wow. So much positivity in here. Also her smile is beautiful”. A fourth added, “Now this is a face every common man will relate to ,a much needed change”.

Speaking to Vogue India, 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.”

“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,” she added.

“Maleesha said that her campaign with Forest Essentials is her “biggest job till date”. “I want to be a model, but education will always come first for me,” NDTV quoted her as saying.

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