New Jersey student honored for helping create first South Asian American Girl doll


Arusha Bhargava, a middle school student, was honored by the Township Committee for her significant contribution to the development of American Girl’s first South Asian “Girl of the Year” doll, Kavika “Kavi” Sharma.

The Committee’s proclamation: At the meeting last week, the Hillsborough Township Committee in New Jersey issued a proclamation, congratulating Bhargava for her achievements and wishing her success in her future endeavors.

“Arusha dedicated her time to shaping Kavi’s cultural background and identity and providing commentary and edits to the two associated books,” noted the proclamation read by Mayor Shawn Lipani. “Now, therefore, be it proclaimed that we, the Mayor and the Hillsborough Township Committee, hereby congratulate Arusha Bhargava for her accomplishments, and we wish her luck in all her future endeavors.”

About the student: Bhargava is an eighth grader at Hillsborough Middle School in Hillsborough Township. She assisted in crafting Kavi as a 12-year-old South Asian American growing up in Metuchen, New Jersey.

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Bhargava was featured in a four-page interview at the end of the book titled “It's Showtime, Kavi.” The teen also reportedly attended the American Girl launch of Kavi, shared her insights on "NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition" and met with the president of American Girl.

“This has been a great honor doing this project,” Bhargava said, according to Patch. “It was a great opportunity. Working on this project, it taught me a lot about the writing process and comparing what the editing process to the final result.”

Bhargava also thanked her parents for instilling an appreciation for her culture. Currently, she volunteers as a Hindi school teacher assistant and is a student volunteer at Sanatan Vidyalay Culture School.

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About the doll: Kavi, who lives in Metuchen with her Hindu family, notably has a passion for singing, dancing and playing the piano. Her adventures, which are illustrated in the book “It’s Showtime, Kavi,” highlights Indian culture, including dance, food and festivals like Holi and Diwali. Kavi’s ultimate collection includes songwriting accessories, a backstage set and a Bollywood dance costume.

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