VADODARA: Ms Homai Vyarawalla, one of India’s first professional women photo-graphers, died here on Sunday, days after being hospitalised due to a fall from her bed, close friends said. She was 98.
According to friends, she had slipped and fractured her hip. "It took some time for the neighbours to find out she had a fall. They then took her to the hospital Thursday," said Ms Sabeena Gadioke, an associate who called on Vyarawalla from time to time.
However, according to doctors attending on her, it was not the fracture that took her down but the severe breathing problems which she had developed. She was also suffering from lung congestion, which caused her difficulty in breathing.
Ms Vyarawalla is only survived by her ailing daughter-in-law, who stays in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. "She has been informed and is on her way to Vadodara. She too is not keeping well," Ms Gadioke said.
Born on December 9, 1913 to a Parsi family in Navsari (Gujarat), Ms Vyarawalla studied at the then Bombay University and did her arts diploma from Sir J J School of Arts.
She started working soon after in late 1930s, before moving to Delhi in 1942 where she photographed the first flag hoisting of independent India in 1947.
The grand old lady, as she was called, had several accolades to her credit, including the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, conferred upon her in 2010.
Ms Vyarawalla took a number of memorable photographs during her career. Her favourite subject was India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.