Free bird

I always want to be in the lap of nature; flowing with the drop of water falling from a leaf to another, flying with the butterfly from one flower to another and passing with the wind through every parts of the nature just like a free bird does. I was well known with the fact that I am not going to be a bird in real. However, I kept a long enjoying those dreams because it leads me with immense pleasure to my epiphany. The interesting thing about a dream is that, as long as you do not stop trying to reach it, it is going to come true. Luckily, I got an understanding family who always makes sure to provide me all the things that makes me happy. They always want me to broaden the wings of my imagination but then I realized that the environment you are flying also matters. Though I had the wings, I couldn’t fly when its dark, when I am alone and while seeing an unknown people around. However, I have never imagined that my dream will come true is such a way.

Last year, I came to Finland for my masters in CBU forestry at University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu. I was so happy to know that I am at one of the safest countries of the world. It is exactly like what I used to have in my dream. The beautiful, picturesque land straight out of a fairy tale, might be exception for rest of the people but for me it exists here. The place is so peaceful surrounded by forest, lake and natural beauty with a very few people. The most important, women in Finland enjoy a high degree of equality and traditional courtesy among men. The global women, peace and security Index, launched at the UN has placed Finland as one of the best countries for women out of the 153 countries. Finnish law provides for freedom of women which is absolutely respected in practice.

Here in Joensuu, I can go anywhere at any time no matters either its forest or city, day or night and single or in a group. Each corner of this place is safe and women friendly. Now my wings opened slowly but this time I don’t have to hide it under any circumstances. Every night after dinner I go for workout and return alone but I never feel unsafe. Even the trees on the forest way seems to be friendly. Instead, I feel like they are protecting me now and I can walk pretty much wherever I want.

Furthermore, the University is adding mirth to my imagination. A lot of opportunities for career development, sports, exercises and events are targeted specially for female. In spite of being an international female student, I have been able to be a student ambassador in UEF. Additionally, I have also been provided with the scholarship for my internship where some of my other friends are still searching for it. Being a female student in UEF is as asset for me and I really feel proud being its part. I hope every female can fly to their epiphany. Besides that, the University implement and promote gender equality and equal opportunities among personnel and students for career development.

I suggest to all girls who want to experience a fearless life and to all parents who thinks girls are not safe outside the doors, to visit Joensuu once. This is all about creating and managing the suitable environment/system. I believe girls are born to be angels, princess, queens and highness, let them open their wings and fly unconditionally.

Sonam Ojha