The rise of India's ‘slum princess’

STORY: Meet Maleesha Kharwa, the ‘slum princess’ of India

Location: Mumbai, India

The 15-year-old model once lived with her family in a waterfront slum in Mumbai

now she is an influencer with more than 376,000 Instagram followers

and the face of Indian cosmetics brand Forest Essentials

She's also been featured on the cover of leading Indian magazines

[Maleesha Kharwa, Model and influencer]

"I'm very happy (with) myself that before I used to stay in a hut, but now I have (a) nice house for myself, and now I will take a very big house for my family on rent."

“Now I'm in 10th standard. So, because of my studies I have to cancel many shoots because I'm in school. So after my 12th, I will start my modeling continuously.”

Maleesha got her big break three years ago after a chance encounter with Robert Hoffman

The Hollywood star posted videos online of his time with Maleesha's family

and helped her launch a 'Go Fund Me' campaign

[Mukesh Kharwa, Maleesha's father]

“I just hope and pray that our children do not see and face the kind of circumstances that I went through. I pray that she will become successful in the future.”