Homai Vyarawala, considered the country's first woman photo-journalist, died here on Sunday in a private nursing home after a short illness. She was 98.

Sources in the hospital said she fell from her bed three days ago and rushed to the nursing home by her neighbour, but because of her advanced age surgery was not possible and she died on Sunday morning.

Her husband Manekcshaw Vyarawala died in 1970.

Born in Gujarat

Born at Navsari in south Gujarat in a Parsi family in December 1913, Ms. Vyarawala had her education in Mumbai and moved to Delhi in 1942.

She immediately shot to national fame as a woman photo-journalist publishing a series of photographs of important events during the pre-Independence days.

Ms. Vyarawala was in the profession for nearly four decades before retiring soon after her husband's death and settled down in Vadodara since 1973.

The former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was one of her favourite subjects.

She was awarded Padma Vibhushan during the Republic day felicitations last year in recognition of her contribution as a photo-journalist.

Snapped 1947 flag-hoisting

Among her more known contributions as a photo-journalist was the first Flag hoisting at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947, departure from the country of the last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. She had also covered the visits to the country of Queen Elizabeth and the former United States president, Dwight Eisenhower.

Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and several other leaders paid rich tributes to Ms. Vyarawala. Her body would be cremated on Monday, sources in the family said.

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