In a world marked by increasing cultural diversity and the need for change, Punya Bhargava has emerged as a beacon of transformation. As an activist, influencer, and entrepreneur, she is breaking down barriers and challenging societal norms. Her remarkable journey is a testament to self-discovery, cultural intersectionality, and an unwavering commitment to empowerment and inclusivity.
Punya Bhargava’s early life was a complex exploration of identity and cultural heritage. Growing up in a family that valued instilling important cultural practices in their children despite being raised abroad, she found herself in a predominantly Chinese learning environment in China, a place she calls home. Here, she built beautiful childhood memories, learned the language and culture, and confronted the reality of being the only person of color during her early formative years.
Despite these challenges, Punya’s determination propelled her to excel in both language and academics. Education held immense importance in both Chinese and Indian cultures, laying the foundation for her commitment to academic excellence and personal growth.
Punya’s journey of understanding the world’s complexities continued as she transitioned to an international education system during her teenage years. Although studying under the International Baccalaureate system had its obvious benefits, such as attending global competitive extracurriculars like Model United Nations, she recognized a fundamental negligence in addressing concepts of intersectionality and compounding oppression. The program, widely popular in global expat communities, failed to prepare students for the real-world consequences of disproportionate marginalization, an oversight that deeply influenced Punya’s perspective.
Music played a pivotal role in Punya’s life, serving as a common bond between her and her father. From Pakistani Sufi melodies introduced to her by her father to global icons like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Tupac, and K-pop, they shared a love for empowering messages from various parts of the world. These diverse friendships and shared experiences laid the foundation for Punya’s commitment to building bridges and addressing global issues.
Her insatiable curiosity led her to the Harvard Secondary Summer School Program at the age of 16, where she explored unconventional topics like World Religions and Strategies of War in the 21st Century. These experiences furthered her determination to make an impact on educational systems, competing with the rapidity of the technological revolution, highlighting the profound impact of geopolitics, religion, media, and polarization on human psychology.
Punya’s education in Canada emphasized reconciliation with indigenous communities, deepening her understanding of historical injustices and reinforcing her commitment to emphasize the structural and systemic work required moving forward. This commitment became central to her aspirations in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
During her university years, Punya delved into the issues created by the medical, pharmaceutical, and military industrial complexes, recognizing their interlaced impact on the environment and the lived human experience of historically marginalized communities. She dedicated herself to understanding the complex repercussions, such as mental health stigmas and the pathologizing of mental distress, and the shame linked to identity politics, all of which played a fundamental role in her career ambitions.
Her academic achievements and passions opened doors to a career that seamlessly merged technology with her drive for social and environmental causes. Punya’s contributions expanded her family’s business, I-Field Ltd., to the European region and led to the establishment of the Arpan Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing educational and self-defense resources to underprivileged women and girls in her hometown, Ajmer.
Punya Bhargava’s influence extends far beyond her career. Through her social media platform, she has created a welcoming space for discussions on fundamental human rights, mental health, feminism, LGBTQI+ issues, and more. Her stance on social media remains that all facets of our society, including fashion, music, technology, and medicine, are interconnected. Change depends on representation, allyship, acknowledgment, and empowerment for our future generations.
Her vision for the future includes creating a consulting service that connects underrepresented voices with large corporations, fostering dialogue, and driving change at the highest levels. She believes that, together, the youth can reshape oppressive systems and transform communities.
Punya Bhargava’s journey from a third-culture kid to an influential entrepreneur is a testament to the power of education, empathy, and a dedication to building a brighter, more inclusive world for all. As she continues to break barriers, Punya Bhargava reminds us that the path to empowerment is paved with education, empathy, and a dedication to building a brighter, more inclusive world for all. Her purpose and business of influencing highlight the power of utilizing influence to drive change and new ideas, making her a true inspiration for generations to come.