Homai Vyarawalla
Homai Vyarawalla

Country's first female news photographer Vyarawala passes away

United News of India

Vadodara, January 15, 2012

Homai Vyarawala, the first woman news photographer of India, died after a brief illness in Vadodara this morning.
She was 99. She is survived by her daughter-in-law Dhan Vyarawala who lives in Jamshedpur.
Vyarawala was admitted to a local hospital after she fell from a ladder and fractured her leg at her home a couple of days ago.
"Her old age and respiratory failure were the main cause of her death," the doctors attending on her said.
Vyarawala's last rites will be performed tomorrow at Vadodara, family sources said.
Her only son Farroq Vyarawala died around 30 years ago and she lived alone in Vadodara for many years without any support.
Born on December 9, 1913, in Navsari town of Gujarat, she moved to Mumbai and did a diploma from J J College of Arts. Later she moved to Delhi in 1942 and photographed events leading to Independence.
Her husband Maneckshaw Vyarawalla died in 1970 and after that she left photography and moved to Vadodara and lived there till her last.
Vyarawala's photographs include many important events in Indian History including the first Flag Hosting Ceremony at Red Fort on August 15, 1947. She also clicked photographs of national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. She also photographed the departure of Lord Mountbatten from India.
In 2010, the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (NGMA) in collaboration with the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts presented a retrospective of her work.
She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in January 2011.