Manjamma Jogathi, a transgender dancer from Karnataka, garnered national praise for her performances and was awarded the Padma Shri by President Ram Nath Kovind for her contribution to folk dance on November 8, 2021.
Jogathi wore a beautiful traditional saree to the award ceremony and astonished the audience with her unusual style of accepting the prize. Manjumma made a dancing move with her saree’s ‘pallu’ when she was awarded the Padma Shri award, wishing the president luck.
Her positive nature, as well as the grace with which she dances, stems from a long and difficult journey. She had a difficult existence because of the social stigma associated with being a transsexual woman, as well as her poor upbringing.
Manjamma was born Manjunatha Shetty in the Ballari region of Karnataka, where she only completed Class 10 of her education. Manjamma began identifying as a woman when she was 15 years old when she finally accepted her actual self.
Manjamma began her lone journey by begging in sarees on the streets. She had also been sexually molested and had planned to commit suicide until she met a father and son who taught her to dance, giving her a new lease on life.