Janaki Venkataraman

Janaki Venkataraman

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Category: Social Work

Janaki Venkataraman Profile

  • Name:
  • Janaki Venkataraman
  • Died:
  • August 13, 2010
  • Spouse:
  • R. Venkataraman

Janaki Venkataraman Biography

Janaki Venkataraman was the First Lady of India from 1987 until 1992. She was the wife of Indian President R. Venkataraman, who served as the 8th President of India during the same period. Though no official roles or duties assigned to the spouse of the ruling presidents, he/she generally attends the official ceremonies and functions held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan along with the President, and Janaki stood as the pillar behind the president. Janaki was a human rights activist associated with Bangladeshi War and she was a feminist and animal activist too. She refused to wear silk saris which required silk worms to be killed. Instead she used Ahimsa silk even during public functions at Rashtrapati Bhavan.


Though it’s an unofficial title given to the wife of serving President of India, First Lady of India always remains in limelight and they accompany their husbands in public functions. They also remain as supporters to their husbands. They also act as official hostess of the Rashtrapati Bhavan when functions and parties are arranged. In some cases, this role is passed over to daughters because of their ill health. During her term, she regularly appeared aside her husband on state visits and was the public face of "Indian womanhood" during his presidency. Thus she was very much active as First Lady.


Janaki Venkataraman was born in 1921 in Pegu, Burma, to Kamala and Krishna Iyer of Tamil origin. She lost her mother at the age of 5 and her father never remarried. She was deeply devoted to Hinduism. She married R. Venkataraman in 1938 and had three daughters. She assisted her husband in his professional and political career and also became a partner in the Labor Law Journal which he had established.

Published: March 01, 2019

Updated: March 01, 2019


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