Google on Saturday marked the 104th birth anniversary of India’s first woman photojournalist, Homai Vyarawalla, with a doodle. Vyarawalla was known for photographing many leaders and important events during India’s independence movement.
Vyarawalla was born in Gujarat’s Navsari district in a Parsi family in 1913. She pursued a diploma at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and then enrolled at JJ School of Arts for further studies.
Many of her photos during World War II were published in The Illustrated Weekly of India in 1942. She then went on to work with the British Information Services in New Delhi.
Vyarawalla had photographed the moment when the first Indian flag was hoisted at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947. She also photographed Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s last press conference in India, and several political leaders, including former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Some of her photographs documented Queen Elizabeth’s and former United States President Dwight Eisenhower’s visits to India.
She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in India in 2011. After she retired, she passed on her photos to Delhi-based Alkazi Foundation for the Arts. She died at the age of 98 in 2012 in Vadodara.