Manjamma Jogathi
Manjamma Jogathi (center) with other folklorists.
Manjunatha Shetty

(1957-05-20) 20 May 1957 (age 66)
  • Dancer
  • singer
  • activist
  • theatre actress
AwardsRajyotsava Award (2010)
Padma Shri (2021)

Manjamma Jogathii (born Manjunatha Shetty; 20 May 1957), is an Indian theatre actress, singer and dancer of Jogathi Nritya, a folk dance form of North Karnataka. In 2019, she became the first transgender woman to be the president of Karnataka Janapada Academy, state's top institution for folk arts.[1][2][3] In January 2021, Government of India announced Padma Shri award for her contribution to the field of folk arts.[4][5]

Early life

Jogathi was born as Manjunatha Shetty in Kallukamba village in Karnataka's Bellary district to Hanumanthaiah and Jayalakshmi.[6] She was married to Jogappa, a Hindu deity owing to a ritual and was not allowed to return home.[7] She was then known as Manjamma Jogathi. After leaving her house aged 15, she identified herself as a woman. Having completed education only till Class 10, she resorted to begging. During this time, she was sexually abused. Later, a father and son duo introduced her to dancing and took her to dance teacher Kallavva Jogathi, where she learnt the Jogathi dance.[8]



Manjamma became a permanent dancer in Kallavva Jogathi's dance group, performing in different parts of India.[9] After Kallavva's death, Manjamma took over the troupe and made the dance popular among the people. In 2010, she received the Rajyotsava award by the Karnataka Government. She was awarded Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award of Republic of India in 2021.

Heading the Karnataka Jaanapada Academy

She was first appointed as the member of the Karnataka Jaanapada Academy and later as the president of the same institution by the State government, which made her the first trans woman to head the top institution for Performing arts in the state.[10]



  1. ^ Archana Nathan (15 November 2019). "Meet Manjamma Jogati: The first trans-president of the Karnataka Janapada Academy". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  2. ^ Theja Ram (20 November 2020). "A house for Manjamma: Crowdfunding campaign for a trans woman leader in Karnataka". The News Minute. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  3. ^ Asmita Bhakshi (9 November 2020). "The unstoppable dance of Manjamma Jogati". Live Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  4. ^ "ಪದ್ಮ ಪುರಸ್ಕಾರಗಳು" [Padma Awards]. Prajavani (in Kannada). 25 January 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  5. ^ "List of Pamda awardees". The Hindu. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  6. ^ "ಹರಿದ ಉಡದಾರ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಹೆಣ್ಣಾಗಿಸಿತು!: ಮಂಜಮ್ಮ ಜೋಗತಿ". Prajavani (in Kannada). 16 February 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  7. ^ Parashar, Kiran (10 November 2021). "From a runaway beggar to Padma Shri awardee, the life of Karnataka transgender dancer Manjamma Jogathi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Meet Padma Shri winner Manjamma Jogathi, the first transgender chairperson of Karnataka Janapada Academy". Firstpost. 11 November 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  9. ^ "A place to call home". The New Indian Express. 30 November 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Manjamma Jogati first transwoman to head an academy in Karnataka". The Hindu. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  11. ^ ExamRaga
  12. ^ "Rajyotsava Awards". Official Government Website. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  13. ^ "ಜಾನಪದ ಅಕಾಡೆಮಿ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷೆಯಾಗಿ ನೇಮಕವಾಗಿರುವ ಮೊದಲ ತೃತೀಯ ಲಿಂಗಿ ಜೋಗತಿ ಮಂಜಮ್ಮ!". Kannada Prabha. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  14. ^ Rashmi Patil (15 November 2020). "Why you should read about transgender folk artist Manjamma Jogathi's life in this Kannada book". Edexlive. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  15. ^ report, Ground (9 November 2021). "Transgender folk dancer Manjamma Jogati, Her life and struggle". Ground Report. Retrieved 24 March 2022.