Homai Vyarawalla (9 December 1913 – 15 January 2012), commonly known by her pseudonym “Dalda 13,” was India’s first woman photojournalist. In 2011, she was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the Republic of India.
She started her career in 1930s and thereafter received notice at the national level when she moved to Mumbai in 1942 with her family, before moving to Delhi, where in the next thirty years she photographed many political and national leaders, including Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Indira Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhi family while working as a press photographer. At the onset of the World War II, she started working on assignments of the Bombay based The Illustrated Weekly of India magazine which over the years till 1970, published many of her black and white images, which later became iconic.
Homai Vyarawalla took a number of memorable photographs during her career. Her favourite subject was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
Most of her photographs were published under the pseudonym “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 and her first car’s number plate read “DLD 13”.