Transgender and Tribal Women among the Recipients of India’s Top Civilian Awards
Indian transgender folk dancer Matha B. Manjamma Jogati was among the 119 recipients of Padma awards, the highest Indian civilian awards presented in October 2021 by the President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind. Manjamma Jogati is known for her mastery of Jogati Nritya Folk Dance form developed over 1,000 public performances in the past 35 years. She heads the Karnataka Janapada Academy which is popularizing this folk-art form.
Padma Awards are given for excellence in various fields of activities, namely, art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. They have three categories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Padma awardees for year 2021 include 29 women.
The recognition for transgender folk dancer Manjamma Jogati comes on the back of wider efforts by the Government of Indiafor protecting the rights of transgender community with a new legislation in 2019 and several other supporting steps. This enabled the access of transgender persons to many schemes of the Central and state governments for improving health, education, skill up-gradation, shelter and economic support.
Some of the other awardees included Jagdish Lal Ahuja also known as Langar Babawho had been serving free food daily to hundreds of poor patients and attendants outside the PGIMER Hospital in Chandigarh city.
One of the awardees is a tribal lady Tulasi Gowda, also known as the ‘encyclopedia of forest’ for her vast knowledge of diverse species of plants & herbs despite not having any formal education.
Rahibai Soma Popere, a tribal women farmer from Ahmednagar district who was earlier honoured with the title of ‘Seed Mother’ by the Central Scientific and Industrial Research for her inspirational work in the tribal-dominated region.
/Embassy of India in Sofia
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