Transgender folk dancer Manjamma Jogati receives Padma Shri

NEW DELHI: The Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday witnessed a unique greet to the President of India by Karnataka’s transgender woman Manjamma Jogati who received a Padma Shri honour for her contribution to arts today.

President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the award at the 2021 Padma awards ceremony. She went up to the President of India Ram Nath Kovind to wish him good luck before receiving the award. According to the belief, a good wish from a transgender can bring good luck.

She is the first trans-president of the Karnataka Janapada Academy, the state government’s top institution for folk art forms.

She was born as Manjunatha Shetty in Ballari district, studied till 10th standard. She started to identify herself as a woman at the age of 15. Now in her early 60s, the Padma honours comes after decades of social and financial struggle.

She started her journey begging on the streets draped in sarees. She was also sexually abused and had decided to kill herself but came across a father and son who taught her dance, which gave a new start to her life.

This year’s list of Padma Awards includes seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri Awards, of which 29 awardees are women, 16 posthumous awardees, and one transgender awardee.

The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.

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