14-year-old Malisha Kharwa, a resident of Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, has become the face of luxury beauty brand Forest Essentials’ new campaign ‘The Yuvti Collection’.
Malisha was discovered in Mumbai in 2020 by Hollywood actor Robert Hoffman, who 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 several modeling gigs, the latest being with Forest Essentials, one of the most instantly recognizable names in the luxury Ayurveda industry.
In April, the brand shared a cool video on Instagram that featured Malisha entering their store, alongside photos from their campaign. “Her face lit up with pure joy, to see her dreams unfold in front of her. Malisha’s story is a beautiful reminder that dreams do come true. #BecauseYourDreamsMatter,” Forest Essentials wrote in the caption.
Watch the video below:
The video soon took the internet by storm and garnered over 5 million views and over 406,000 likes. Internet users praised Malisha and congratulated her for this wonderful achievement.
“It’s wonderful to see him taste his success!!! Blessings to him and much more success in the future!” A user wrote. Another said, “So glad to see this and applause for the brand..dark girls were never considered to endorse beauty brands in our country now times have changed..they are gorgeous.”
A third user commented, “Wow. So much positivity here. Also her smile is beautiful.” A fourth said, “Now this is a face every common man can relate to, a much-needed change.”
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Meanwhile, in an interview with Vogue IndiaMeera Kulkarni, Founder and Chief Managing Director, Forest Essentials, said, “Through Yuvati Collection, we are not only supporting Malisha’s dream but also contributing to Project Paathshala to empower young minds.”
“While Malisha is the face of the campaign, Forrest Essentials is bringing the idea of dreams to the forefront. The undercurrent here is that wherever you come from, no matter how big or small your dream is, dreams are for everyone , and all dreams matter,” she said.
Separately, Malisha said that her campaign with Forest Essentials is her “biggest thing I’ve ever done”. She said, “I want to be a model, but education will always come first for me.”