Shivali Srivastava: Quilling to global recognition

A display of the quilled dolls, and (inset) Shivali with the medals received along with the Guinness World Record certifications

Dolls are synonymous with small girls as they graduate usually to teddy bears with their growing age. However, with some, dolls could be a lasting obsession, but very rarely does such an obsession lead to a global recognition with twelve Guinness World Record certifications! Meet Shivali Johri Srivastava — holder of 12 unusual world records.

It all started with a news item that a lady from the United Arab Emirates had established a world record for collecting 1145 quilled dolls. The girl, a potential computer science engineer, was motivated to work beyond her college curriculum to outdo the Arab lady. Her mother too joined the enthusiastic daughter in making paper dolls and they earned the first Guinness World Record certification jointly, on 9 June 2016 by putting up 1,251 different dolls. Although they had established a new world record, it was in a different way and did not actually better the record of the Arab lady.

The first certification was a good impetus for the family to undertake the task of bettering the world record of quilled dolls. It was now Shivali, mother Kavita and father Anil, all working together to set a new world record. They finally earned a Guinness World Record certification by putting up a display of 2,200 quilled dolls on Children’s Day 2019 at Hyderabad, improving upon the number of 1145 which was the impetus for all that followed.

A lot more happened between the intervening periods of these two world records. There were as many as eight world record certifications in this period as the field of quilled dolls was not the only field in which the family was at work. On 29 April 2017, the mother-daughter duo put up a show of 7,011 quilled flowers to earn their second certification for a Guinness World Record. On 6 September 2017, the family exhibited a total of 2,111 different dolls with Shivali receiving her third certification.

Beyond the World Records — an exhibition of origami jewellery

On 23 June 2018, after more than nine months of effort, Shivali and her mother put up a show of 3,501 origami whales. The family also put up 2,100 origami penguins. Consequently, for the first time, Shivali was the recipient of two certificates on the same day; testifying her having jointly established two world records on the same day. 2019 was a year of seven world records.

Born in Lucknow (on 29 March 1999), Shivali was quite unlike other girls of her age. Her first choice for any possession was neither dolls nor toys but crayons. Later, as a lower kindergarten student at the Pallavi Model School, Hyderabad, she found a place on the cover of the school magazine, dressed as a sunflower, in the fancy dress competition.

Her parents recollect how Shivali’s first show of talent for art came to be exhibited on the walls of their house. However, her first official recognition came when as a student of the first standard Shivali won a painting competition arranged for children at the Lucknow Zoo. It was an all-age group competition and their daughter was the youngest in the lot.

Having gone to buy a burger at a Mall in Lucknow, Shivali stumbled upon a drawing competition and within 30 minutes she completed her assignment. Her parents did not see any prospect of their daughter winning any prize in the competition. When the results were declared, they were in for a surprise; the third prize went to a boy of the tenth standard, the second prize to a girl from the eighth standard and the first prize to the second standard student, Shivali Srivastava! The prize for Shivali was a Sony music system, but she wanted to exchange it for the participation prize given to the other children: a set of 12 coloured sketch pens; this time her parents had to prevail.

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Gp. Capt. Achchyut Kumar
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Gp. Capt. Achchyut Kumar

Gp Capt Achchyut Kumar has been associated with The Teenager Today for more than 50 years; initially as a reader and later as a contributor on varied topics. Having worked in the Indian Air Force and in India’s oldest company, Forbes & Company Limited, he is now practising as a lawyer in Nainital High Court.