Padma Shri for Manjamma Jogati

Manjamma Jogti was the recipient of Padma Shri this year—the fourth-highest civilian award in India. She is credited for single-handedly popularizing rural folk arts especially the Jogati Nritya and Janapada songs, practiced in rural Karnataka, Maharashtra, and some parts of Andhra Pradesh.

Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani tweeted, “First transwoman President of Karnataka Janpada Academy, Manjamma Jogati overcame societal trauma and made a mark for herself in the field of dance. A Jogati Nritya folk dancer, she has performed over 1,000 times. #PeoplesPadma “


Karnataka-based political activist and Founder of Transgender Led Convergence Organisation - Ondede, Akkai Padmashali congratulated Manjamma with a Facebook post and said “Manjamma Jogti shall be conferred for Padmashree award in ART, the president of India felicitates at Rashtrapathi bhavan. Congratulations Manjamma ! Jogappa is a cultural identity !"

President of the Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress, Dr Pushpa Amarnath congratulated with the below tweet: "Manjamma Jogti shall be conferred for Padmashree award in ART. Congratukations Manjamma navare !"

Manjamma began to identify as a woman in her teens. Now in her early 60s, she is a part of the transgender community in rural Deccan that reveres Goddess Renuka Yellamma. Karnataka Government honoured her with the Kannada Rajyotsava award in 2010. 

She is only the second transperson and the third LGBTQIA+ person to be bestowed with this honour. In 2014, ace fashion designer Wendell Rodricks was the first-ever LGBTQIA+ person to be honoured with a Padma Shri. In 2019, Padma Shri was also awarded to Narthaki Nataraj, a professional Bharatnatyam artist specializing in Thanjavur-based Nayaki Bhava form of dance, making her the first transperson to receive the honour.

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