Manjamma Jogati: Transgender Folk Dancer and the Padmashree Awardee

Born as a transgender, Manjamma Jogati is now an icon of folk dance and for the same, she received the Padmashree Award. Her beautiful pictures receiving awards from President Ramnath Kovind have gone viral on social media and have received millions of views, comments, and applause, online as well as offline.

Manjamma Jogati was born as Manjunatha Shetty. At the early age of 15, she identified herself as a woman. She has done schooling till 10 after which she resorted to begging. She faced sexual abuse during this time. Later she was introduced to dancing and learnt Jogathi dance. She soon became a permanent dance member in Kallavva’s Jogathi dance group. Till now, she has performed over 1000 times in different parts of India. She has made the dance form popular among the people.

She received a lot of humiliation from relatives, family members in her early childhood. At one point of time, she almost decided to kill herself. After learning the dance form, her life started transforming. After the death of Kallava, who was her dance teacher, Manjamma took the responsibility and made the dance form popular. She also used to be called to houses to bless their families as she was considered as good luck.

Manjamma Jogati is the first trans woman president of the Karnataka Janapada Academy. She won the internet with this small ritual of taking Drishti that she performed before the President as she got her award. She has received one of the highest honours in this country and won the hearts of everyone. She is honoured with the fourth highest civilian award by the Government of India. She was honoured with the Rajyotsava Award by the Karnataka Government. Manjamma is a singer and dancer of Jogti Nritya, a folk dance form of North Karnataka. We salute the first woman president of the Karnataka Janapada Academy.

Written By-

Pranali Mahindrakar, Student of BSc. CS, Pune.