Homai was born in Navsari in Year 1913 and the parents of her were part of Pasi-Urdu travelling theater company. Her mother settled in Bombay (now Mumbai) so that her children can get good schooling etc. Homai was married at age of 13 to Manekshaw Vyarawalla.
During World War II, Vyarawallas got big break. The Britishers moved their Information Office to Delhi and were looking for Photographers. The Vyarawalla bagged the job and shifted to New Delhi in Year 1942. Homai travelled around Delhi on a bicycle, wearing a saree and with her Camera equipment.
Homai Vyarawalla was the India’s first woman photo-journalist. She had captured a lot of iconic photos that included, images of flag hoisting at Red Fort – 1947, images of last Viceroy of India, leaving country – Lord Mountbatten etc. She also helped preserving solemn memories of funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Homai was also known as ‘Dalda-13′, the reasons behind her choice of this rather amusing name were that her birth year was 1913, she met her husband at the age of 13 & as her car in Delhi had a number plate as DLD-13. Also a Jamaican filmmaker made a film on her, which was also named as Dalda-13. Homai quit photography after her husband’s death in Year 1970 & settled in Baroda. Homai Vyarawalla died in Baroda on 15th January 2012.