The training programme consisted of a three-step approach that included identifying certain perceptions of discrimination, sharing experiences and learning on best practices in providing quality, non-discriminatory customer service and finding ways to rectify discriminatory practices. “I prefer to have a practical work plan to reduce discrimination. Eliminating discriminatory practices cannot be done in one or two days but these efforts are important to reduce discrimination. Each individual can contribute by improving their skills, knowledge and attitudes,” said the Divisional Secretary of Thunukkaai Divisional Secretariat in Mullaitivu.
“Elected members have a lot of pressure as we have to deal with party politics while serving to the people. The training inspired me to balance my stress and to think positively. In future, serving the people without any discrimination will be my primary target,” said Mr. Jesithan, a Pradesiya Sabha member from Jaffna.
I want to share this knowledge with my colleagues and to inspire them to stand against the discriminatory practices in the service delivery sector,” said Thimili Dissanayake, a local government authority representative from Kandy, who believed that there should be discussion about existing discriminatory practices in the sector.
In Muttur, government officers said the training programme had changed their attitudes and behaviour. “Different types of activities and games were used to change our thinking patterns while delivering information about the topic,” said A.A. Zanofar, a development officer from Muttur Pradeshiya Sabha.
“Group activities are very useful; they changed our attitudes. The training methods are very interactive and using case studies meant we could understand the context of the subject. I learnt a lot,” said M.S. Fathima Nasrin a development officer from Muttur Pradeshiya Sabha.