M.L. Prabakar
  • Male
  • Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • India
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Welcome, M.L. Prabakar!

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Rituu B. Nanda commented on M.L. Prabakar's blog post Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
"Hi Marie, I spoke to Prabakar. His group could not follow up with the planned community due to strict government orders for physical distancing. However he was able to visit another organisation which works with Transgenders and MSM. The people he…"
Mar 30, 2020
Rituu B. Nanda liked M.L. Prabakar's blog post Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Mar 30, 2020
Marie Lamboray commented on M.L. Prabakar's blog post Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
"Hello Prabakar, nice to read you ! How has the response progressed since this post?"
Mar 30, 2020
Marie Lamboray liked M.L. Prabakar's blog post Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Mar 30, 2020
M.L. Prabakar was featured
Mar 21, 2020
M.L. Prabakar posted a blog post

Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

COVID 19 is a pandemic that has struck the human race very badly.  Though in human history we had seen these kinds of epidemics and pandemics this situation is a little different as there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent or to cure.  This calls for an immediate action that can curtail the spread of COVID 19 and can also support people and families infected with the virus. As facilitators and champions of community life competence process we have a considerable experience of dealing with…See More
Mar 13, 2020

Profile Information

M.L. Prabakar
How did you know about Constellation community?
Through friends in The Constellation
Skype and telephone
About Me:
I am Prabakar, I live in Chennai, India. I am married and I have a son. I believe that all of us are surely gifted with different strengths. The real success lies in we identifying it or others identifying it in us and build on it. This was true in my own life. My relatives, my friends, my family and my guides identified specific strengths in me and made it tangible to me. This actually strengthened me and helped me to grow.
My dream:
To identify the unique qualities, skills and Potential in every individual and enable them to see them, build them and utilize the to the full potential to take control of their own lives to build the same in others around them, helping them to lead a life safe and secured life, free from violation, exploitation, violence and poverty.
I'm proud of:
All those who had identified unique strengths in me and trusted me with great things.
I am proud of myself when I identify the unique strengths in people and share it with them with appreciation.
I am proud and thankful to all those whom I educate, Counsel, Mentor, treat, teach and train as in the end they leave me with a treasure of learning which could not have been possible without their valuable presence.
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M.L. Prabakar's Blog

Local response to COVID-19 by family a friends in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Posted on March 13, 2020 at 4:00pm 2 Comments

COVID 19 is a pandemic that has struck the human race very badly.  Though in human history we had seen these kinds of epidemics and pandemics this situation is a little different as there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent or to cure.  This calls for an immediate action that can curtail the spread of COVID 19 and can also support people and families infected with the virus. 

As facilitators and champions of community life competence process we have a considerable experience of…


Competence in resolving issues of PLHIV in communities

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 4:43pm 5 Comments

(A sharing by Kokila, Saraoja amma and Rani, Thiruvannamalai Deepam AIDS Thaduppu Sangam)


Three members from a CBO of FSW in Thiruvannamalai visited a village to pass a Panchayat resolution against stigma and discrimination on PLHIV and on people who are vulnerable to HIV.

While they were addressing the villagers, the Village chairman said that there was a woman who was infected and they had isolated her from the village.  Then the three women…


Gaining recognition and effectively reducing S&D

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 4:31pm 4 Comments

 A sharing by Thamizh, Nandhni and Mohana of Sumangali AIDS Thaduppu Sangam, Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu, India


“We provide a lot of services for the community members and for the public through our MSM CBO. We create awareness about HIV, STIs and condom use among our community members. Earlier, if people saw us in public places they would mock at us and ridicule us. They looked at us as untouchables. They would not sit next to us in the…


Care is linked to prevention

Posted on November 19, 2010 at 5:36pm 4 Comments

S Devi*, a female sex worker from Rajahmundry, India shared her story during a SALT visit which illustrates the practice that Care is linked to prevention.

She shared a relationship with a man and continues till date. During the initial phase of their relationship she had to negotiate condom use with him. The first day when she requested him to use condoms he was not convinced. He thought why the need to use condoms when they are in a relationship. S Devi explained to him that she… Continue

“Travelling down the roads of learning, my experience, working with truckers”

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 12:34pm 5 Comments

When I started my work with truckers on HIV, I had several prejudices about them as any other person in the community . I thought they were closed people, I was told that they were spreading HIV because they are mobile and frequent sex workers. But this evolved over time.

As I started working with them I realized that I had no direct link with them, as traders, hotel staff, police men, sex workers, etc. All I understood was that I had to create an opportunity to interact with them in… Continue

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At 9:21am on June 29, 2011, Rituu B. Nanda said…

Hi Prabakar,


A warm welcome to Asia Pacific competence group. Happy to see you here:-) We have had so many discussions on how much we can learn from teams in the region and now we have a platform for this.





At 5:43pm on January 13, 2011, Rituu B. Nanda said…
A warm welcome to youth competence and against Gender based violence groups!
At 5:31pm on December 20, 2010, Gaston said…
Thanks Prabakar for your nice message to the CAD community. Wonderful and I hope to connect soon with you again in person. Cheers from a freezing cold Belgium.
At 6:00pm on November 4, 2009, Ernest Noronha said…
Just sharing my experiences of working with truckers and sex workers (male, transgender and hijra) at truckstop in the essay below.
From the early to mid 1990s, India’s burgeoning HIV/AIDS epidemic was labeled “a heterosexual epidemic”, which led to the assumption that transmission through same sex encounters was negligible. Emerging evidence has shown that men who have sex with men (MSM) in India constitute an extremely diverse population, many of whom are living apparently heterosexual lives, but who are actually engaged in risk-taking behavior with either same sex or both same sex and opposite sex partners. This population of men do not consider themselves to be “gay” and the fact that they quietly engage in sex with other males and transgender males is just another aspect of their lives. In addition, they do not perceive that they at risk of HIV through anal sex with other men, as they prevalently believe that HIV is only transmitted through vaginal sex with women. They are inherently reticent to speak about their MSM behavior for considerable fear of being labeled, stigmatized and ostracized, which makes working with gay-unidentified MSM inherently exigent.
Of all MSM groups, the non-gay identified (truckers and cleaners) are one of the least visible groups and the hardest to reach with information, but the effort is worthwhile especially considering this group constitutes the majority of MSM in India
The male labourers are often orphaned/abandoned adolescents that have left their homes, later to be picked up along the highways by truckers to serve as “helpers” by way of apprenticeship. Some truck drivers may genuinely be attracted to members of the same sex (though this does not necessarily mean they are comfortable with sexual identity labels such as ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’), and others may have sex with other men purely out of convenience or circumstance. Away from their wives, alone on long journeys for months at a time, truck drivers can take advantage of the obvious power dynamic they hold over their younger, less experienced ‘helper.’ Ashok Row Kavi of Humsafar Trust suggests that this phenomenon is history repeating itself as tragedy, as many truck drivers were actually once ‘helpers’ who had ‘survival’ sex with his driver before becoming one himself.

Aside from this, many Indian ‘port cities’, such as Mumbai, accommodate both major truck terminals as well as Red Light Districts (RLDs). This coincidence lends the option of commercial sex to truck drivers who have ample ‘waiting time’ between assignments and a disposable cash income. However, at this juncture it is important to note that at least in Mumbai, a trucker has one of two main options if he decides to exchange cash for sex. He can either travel to Kamathipura, Mumbai’s RLD (considered the 2nd largest in the world), or save the trip across town and choose from the MSWs that operate at Cotton Green, Mulund, Wadala, and other truck terminals.

Male and transgendered – hijra sex workers are more commonly found soliciting clients at MSM hotspots (sex sites and pick-up points), along the highways, or at truckstops. Since truck stops tend to be exclusively male environments after nightfall, the sex work trade at Mumbai truck stops is dominated by a variety of MSW, who are both male and female identified. In the case of this study, it was primarily the latter. Because long distance truck drivers are highly mobile, it becomes difficult to engage them in conventional peer education methods.
The Humsafar Trust work with bisexual truckers and their helpers have revealed that while truckers are hesitant to admit a clear-cut preference for male or transgender sex workers, they openly comment on the convenience and reasonable rates for their sexual services. Based on field experience and qualitative research, young, low-income men such as helpers, who cannot afford to pay much money for sex, appear more likely to frequent MSWs, especially if their main responsibility is to guard the truck, limiting their mobility to within the confines of the truck stop.
In the last nine years, Humsafar Trust with financial and technical support from the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society has made significant inroads as a community based organization by making concerted efforts to de-stigmatize homosexuality and increase safer sexual behavior among MSM through-
• Engaging, Intensive Outreach - HST engages a strongly motivated team of community led outreach worker and peer educators to speak candidly in public about the entire range of sexual behaviors and sexual partners, including anal sex, and the response from the target group has been surprisingly positive. Entertaining and engaging community-level activities promote the importance of condom and lubricant use, as well as the need for voluntary counselling and testing. By treating the choices of MSM as normal, and by using a matter-of-fact, neutral tone, the team has ascertained that the comfort level of the target population increases substantially, as to raising related questions and concerns.
• Condom Social Marketing - The free distribution and social marketing of condoms have played a significant role in making MSM more comfortable about discussing the dangers of HIV, STIs and condom usage. Through community-based education and the distribution of promotional items, coupled with persuasive communication, and attractively packaged condoms, high awareness and acceptability for condoms has been achieved.
• Lubricants – Outreach workers and peer educators actively promote lubricants through a community-based sales network to facilitate a reduced risk of HIV transmission.
• Voluntary Counseling and Testing - The Shaan project team has been successful in motivating clients to visit the inhouse ICTC clinic at Vakola, primarily because counselors are trained and experienced in eliciting genuine sexual history and exploring risk reduction options with MSM and transgender clients and also to 3 major tertiary hospitals in the vicinity.
Challenges Faced in the Field
• Sex is a socially proscribed topic of discussion, so broaching the subject of various tabooed sexual practices can lead to reticence or minimal participation from the target groups.
• There is a paucity of care and support resources and facilities that are sensitive to the needs of MSM.
• MSM populations are particularly hesitant to get tested for HIV because it involves telling their sexual history to a counselor. Outreach workers have to assure them of non-discrimination and often escort them to the clinic to reduce this fear.
• Levels of “acceptable risk” are particularly high in younger MSM, and condom use is erratic, particularly with known partners.
• The belief that HIV is primarily contracted from vaginal sex is fairly prevalent, especially in MSM who fall outside the purview of HIV interventions.
Lessons Learned about Trucker and Helper Clients of MSM
 They are less bothered about condoms than the male sex workers
 Peers have greatest influence. Sexual experience is highly respected.
 The choice of hijras seems to be related primarily to cost and easy access.
 Helpers and second drivers may be having more sex with hijras than with women
At 9:48pm on July 14, 2009, Onesmus Mutuku said…
Great story. Keep going!
At 3:38pm on May 27, 2009, Gaston said…
Hi Prabakar, it would still be great if you could share a story about the work you did with truckers (it can be along the line of a ACP practice) or even about our visit to Krisnagiri (on inclusion?).

Looking forward to see you again soon!

At 3:04pm on February 25, 2009, Sandeep Gaikwad said…
Dear Prabakar,

Well said ! I felt the same


At 10:27pm on January 27, 2009, Rituu B. Nanda said…
Hi Prabakar,

I am so happy to know that you will be going to Chiangmai for the knowledge Fair. You will do us proud. Best of luck. Hope you will be carrying the Self-assessment in Tamil. Its impressive. My heartfelt thanks to the management of Siaap for encouraging and supporting ACP in a big way.

Warm regards,

At 10:33pm on December 1, 2008, Rituu B. Nanda said…
Dear Prabakar,

Thrilled to find you so active on Ning. Its great to see the additions to your ACP gang. My hi to Swami, Chitra, Anand and Selva. Swami, I recall was planning to intiate ACP among youth groups. How is the progress?

When JLL and I had visited Nagercoil, you had expressed concerns about self assessment, the need for a simpler language and ways to elicit responses from the community members. I would love to hear more on that. May be some friends on the Ning platform would like to share their challenges and constraints.

With best regards,

At 1:11pm on November 28, 2008, Marlou said…
Dear Marlou (will call you like that ;),

I was also excited when I saw your organisations name on the list of HIVOS partners coming to the Dakar meeting. Great to have your director there in the room.
Constellation coaches there are Jean-Louis Lamboray (our chair you may have met him), Risya Kori (from Indonesia), April Foster (Kenya) and Ricardo Walters (South-Africa). With partners from many countries it will be a very interesting event - and the idea is to come out with a plan for the Platform members to continue learning and sharing in 2009. So yes, a great opportunity. And yes, I will refer to your colleague in future as well.

Take care,

Marlou (the other)


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