Sepia Stories: Homai Vyarawalla on World Photography Day

Homai Vyarawalla (9 December 1913 – 15 January 2012) was India’s first woman photojournalist. On World Photography Day remembering her pathbreaking efforts in capturing history in the footnotes of time with her charming cameras. As India Today said about her – “In the years and months leading up to India’s historic transition to Independence, Homai Vyarawalla was almost as famous as the great leaders and events she chronicled on film.”

Born at Navsari in south Gujarat in a Parsi family in December 1913, Vyarawala had her education in Mumbai and moved to Delhi in 1942. She was involved in publishing a series of photographs of important events during the pre-Independence days and so soon became a well known face in the country. The former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was one of her favourite subjects and Vyarawala captured some candid moments. Vyarawala’s biographer would later note in the Time Magazine that she may have received little global attention than her foreign contemporaries. “For years her vast archive chronicling three decades of Indian history received less attention than the Indian work of her international contemporaries, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Bourke-White.” In 1956 Vyarawala captured the first entry of a young Dalai Lama into India for TIME-LIFE.

Click Here for more

Published on