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Maleesha Kharwa lives in a slum, but has her eyes firmly fixed on her dreams. Hoping that things work out well for her.
Translated from the original in Hindi by Sandhya Renukamba.
Everyone has an open sky, just need courage to fly…. This is the courage in Maleesha Kharwa whose climb on the ladder is moving slowly.
The 13-year-old girl has long hair, a heart-touching, innocent smile, and sweet eyes that sparkle dreams that she is working with sincere earnestness to fulfill. She lives in a slum with her father and siblings on the seashore in Bandra, Mumbai, where her father came from Gujarat in search of livelihood with his son and daughter.
Actor Robert Hoffman of Hollywood film Step Up-2 is behind Maleesha’s headlines. Robert came to India in February last year to shoot a music video. He was to travel to Europe for his tour but due to Corona epidemic he had to stay back in India for a few days, when he was told by a friend about Maleesha and her dreams to become a supermodel to support her family.
Robert created Maleesha’s Instagram page and shared it with people to raise funds to fulfill her dreams. Maleesha’s video got a lot of love and slowly this girl caught everyone’s attention. Her followers are increasing daily, and within one year today she has 1 lakh 41 thousand followers, known as the Princess of Slums.
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A post shared by Maleesha Kharwa (@maleeshakharwa)
A post shared by Maleesha Kharwa (@maleeshakharwa)
“Where you live is your identity and there is nothing bad in it,” says Maleesha. She used to dream of modelling since the age of 5.
On Instagram and in her interviews, she speaks of her various challenges. Like if the people living in the slums build houses, then their houses are repeatedly broken. That she needs to walk some distance to get water. That they sleep on the ground, which sometimes has stones that poke. That many people living in slums do not even have sweaters to wear in winter, forget about the mattresses to sleep on.
Despite all the problems, Maleesha Kharwa’s dreams are intact. Along with the modelling dreams, she also has child like dreams of playing with toys, dolls, and wanting to “go to Kashmir in an aeroplane.” She says that if I become a dancer, I will open a free dancing class for children like me.
Little model Maleesha has become quite famous in a short time due to a little help and her hard work. Last month in April 2021, a short film – Live Your Fairytale – was released on Maleesha and several slum children. Directed by Arsala Qureshi and Jas Sagoo, the film depicts the experience of children living in slums in Mumbai, for the first time. This film is very emotional, but these young children show you a new way of living.
With her presence on social media, Maleesha Kharwa has now become a well-known name, with beautiful pictures in Peacock magazine which say that her dream will come true. After this photoshoot, she has more work and collaborations coming up.
Maleesha Kharwa, the Princess of Slums, is taking one step towards her dreams every day. She does not study in a big school, does not live in a luxurious house, does not have a lot of money, but the treasure she has is the biggest. She has courage, and the desire to do something with her life.
We wish Maleesha Kharwa all the best!
Images source: Maleesha’s Instagram and the Peacock magazine shoot
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Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education
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