Homai Vyarawalla

Homai Vyarawalla

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Homai Vyarawalla Profile

  • Name:
  • Homai Vyarawalla
  • Born:
  • December 9, 1913
  • Died:
  • January 15, 2012
  • Spouse:
  • Manekcshaw Vyarawala
  • Awards:
  • Padma Vibhushan

Homai Vyarawalla Biography


Homai Vyarawalla is also known as Dalda 13 and she is the first woman photojournalist of India. Most of her photographs were published under the pseudonym “Dalda 13″. Not only that she was born on 1913 and got married when she was 13 years old. She became active in the late 1930s and retired in the early 1970s. She has been awarded with Padma Vibhushan in the year 2011. Homai Vyarawalla was born on 9 December 1913 at Navsari, Gujarat. She was a Gandhian at heart and followed his path throughout her life. She led a simple life as per Gandhiji’s principles.


Homai Vyarawalla started her career during late 1930’s and very soon she received appreciations from all over the country. Her work was noticed national wide and she moved to Mumbai in 1942 with her family and then to Delhi. She spent next thirty years in Delhi capturing the pictures of great leaders of India including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jinnah and Indira Gandhi. She photographed these political leaders while working as a press photographer. Among all, her favourite was the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.


When World War second was going on, she published many of her best photographs in Bombay based ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ magazine. Till the year 1970, this magazine published many of her black and white photographs and those pictures are now regarded as iconic. She moved to Vadodara in 1973 after her husband’s death. But after that, her camera didn’t capture even a single shot. She was dissatisfied with the approach of new generation towards the field of photography and she lived for more than 40 years after that without taking any shot. She gave her opinion as "bad behaviour" of the new generation of photographers.  


In 2010, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai presented a retrospective of her work. Indian government honoured her with Padma Vibhushan in the year 2011. She was living alone at her residence in Vadodhara, Gujarat. She had slipped and fallen in her residence and met with death due to breathing complications. She passed away on 15th January, 2012.

More Information about Homai Vyarawalla

The First Lady of Indian Press Photography

Published: N/A

Updated: August 03, 2013

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