This is the first time, her art – Pandavani – has been given its due formally on the international front.

She was the oldest of five children to underprivileged parents, Chunuk Lal Pardhi and Sukhwati in the remote village of Ganiyari, 15 kilometres from the city of Bhilai. Like other girls in the village, she was expected to stay home, take care of the household chores and babysit her siblings.

But Teejan wanted to sing, so much so that she referred to her passion as ‘pagalpana’ or madness.

she was also bestowed the prestigious Padma Shri in 1987, and Padma Bhushan in 2003 by Government of India. In 1995, she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by India’s National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama.

n Japan, Teejan was always introduced with the title ‘Doctor’ as she had received honorary doctorates from a host of Indian universities. With no access to education, the only thing she ever learned to write was her name in the Devanagari script. She has it inked on her arm alongside other traditional godna tattoos.