Images: Homai Vyarawalla Archive/The Alkazi Collection of Photograph
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New Delhi: Homai Vyarawalla (1913-2012) was India’s first female photojournalist.
Her most famous photographs include the most iconic photographs India’s most iconic images such as the first tri-colour being hoisted after Independence, the death of Mahatma Gandhi and prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru releasing a pigeon.
Homai Vyarawalla poses with her Rolleiflex camera. (Image: AFP)
Homai Hathiram was born on this day in 1913, to a semi-literate Parsi couple. She joined the St. Xaviers College before graduating in Economics with honours from the University of Bombay.
Homai married Manekshaw J. Vyarawalla who an accountant-cum-lensman with The Times Of India group in Bombay. Homai Vyarawalla's initial pictures were published in his name since a woman photographer was an undiscovered species in a field which was male-dominated.
Often using a pen-name "Dalda 13" signifying her birth year, the age of 13 when she met her future husband, and her first car registration No. DLD 13. Homai soon became a sought-after and a commonly seen photojournalist among the political high profiles and celebs, covering mega-events before and after India's Independence in 1947.
Many of her images were picked up by top Indian and foreign newspapers and magazines including Time, giving her international recognition.
She was decorated with several honours including the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan and in 2011, the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award.