Dia Mirza

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Dia Mirza
Dia Mirza on Day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week 2017.jpg
Mirza at Lakme Fashion Week 2017

Diya Handrich
{{birth date and

Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Residence Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Model, actor, film producer
Years active 2000–present
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[3]
Title Miss Asia Pacific 2000
Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 2000
Spouse(s) Sahil Sangha (m. 2014)
Beauty pageant titleholder
Femina Miss India 2000
(Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 2000)
(Miss Beautiful Smile)
Miss Asia Pacific 2000
(Miss Close-Up Smile)
(Miss AVON)

Diya Sangha (born Diya Handrich on 9 December 1981), also known by her maiden name Diya Mirza or Dia Mirza, is an Indian model, actress, producer and beauty queen who won the Miss Asia Pacific 2000 title. Mirza has primarily worked in Bollywood and is known in media for her social work. She co-owns a production house Born Free Entertainment with her husband Sahil Sangha.[4] Their first film, Love Breakups Zindagi,[5] was released on 7 October 2011.

Early and personal life[edit]

Mirza was born in India. Her father, Frank Handrich, was a German graphic and industrial fair designer, architect, artist and interior designer based in Munich. Her mother, Deepa, is an Indian Bengali Hindu who is an interior designer, landscaper and currently does social work as a volunteer to help alcoholics and drug addicts. When Diya was four-and-a-half years old, her parents got divorced.[6][7] Afterwards, her mother married Ahmed Mirza, a secular Dakhini Muslim man from Hyderabad, and Diya (then only a toddler) was given the last name of her step-father, although she and her mother remained practicing Hindus. Diya's step-father died in 2003.[6]

When living in Khairatabad, Hyderabad city, Dia initially attended Vidyaranya High School, a co-ed school. On the insistence of her step-father, Dia was enrolled into Nasr School, a prestigious girls day school also located in Khairtabad. She credits Nasr School for giving her the confidence and to pursue acting. She says it was the Nasr Dramatic Society, an in-school club which boosted her morale. After finishing school, Dia attended Stanley Junior College and completed her graduation in Bachelor of Arts from Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.[8]

In April 2014, she got engaged to her longtime business partner Sahil Sangha. Mirza and Sangha got married in a Hindu wedding on 18 October 2014 at her husband's sprawling farmhouse in Chattarpur on the outskirts of Delhi.[9]


Dia Mirza worked while in college as a marketing executive for a media firm, Neeraj's Multi-media Studio[citation needed]. At the same time she modeled for print and TV commercials for brands like Lipton, Wall's ice cream, Emami and many more. She won Miss Asia Pacific in 2000.

Mirza wanted to complete her graduation in Arts by correspondenn the Miss Asia Pacific competition, modelling assignments, travelling and training. She could not complete her graduation due to being busy at work. She studied at NYU[citation needed].

She debuted through Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein which could not do well at the box office. Then she appeared in movies like Dum, Deewanapan, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge, Tumsa Nahin Dekha – A Love Story, Parineeta, Dus, Lage Raho Munnabhai, "Salam Mumbai".

She has garnered a lot of praise for her social work[citation needed]. She got an IIFA 2012 Green Award for her contribution towards green environment. She has done awareness campaigns on prevention of female foeticide, HIV awareness, the Cancer Patients Aid Association, PETA, ADAPT, CRY. She publicly supported the Naramada Bachao Andolan. She has written articles for Hindustan Times and other publications.

Film career[edit]

Mirza made her cinematic debut with Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein opposite R. Madhavan. Later, she appeared in Parineeta, a Vidhu Vinod Chopra production.

In 2012, Mirza tried her luck into regional cinema with Bengali filmmaker Pratim Dasgupta's Paanch Adhyay.[10] The movie turned out to be a success and was selected by film festivals in India and across the world.[11]

She appeared in the films Dus and Fight Club. She was the only female actor among the six key characters Acid Factory, in which she played a gangster femme fatale, but the film was a failure.[12] Mirza will next be featuring in Johny Mastana, Bits and Pieces, Kayanat, Bidhaatar Lekha and Familywala.


Dia Mirza at the IIFA Rocks fashion show

Mirza was a second runner up at Femina Miss India 2000 and was subsequently sent to Miss Asia Pacific 2000, where she won. She also won Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Avon and Miss Close-Up Smile in Miss India. When she won the Miss Asia Pacific title on 3 December 2000 in Manila, Philippines, she became the first Indian since Tara Anne Fonseca to win this title in 27 years.[13] She completed the hat-trick of India winning international pageants in the year 2000; Lara Dutta won the Miss Universe title and Priyanka Chopra won the Miss World title in the same year.[14]

Community services and activism[edit]

Mirza has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Spastics Society of India, and has worked extensively with government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness, prevention of female foeticide, PETA, CRY and most recently the NDTV Greenathon – an effort to find tangible solutions against pollution and book, "Deke Dheko" by Radio Mirchi (a campaign initiated to collect books for underprivileged children). Her other hobbies include writing, reading, painting, pottery, horse riding and theatre. She has written several articles for the Hindustan Times and other publications as a guest writer. She is on the board of the Coca-Cola foundation that works towards development in rural India. She is associated with campaigns such as Sanctuary Asia's Leave Me Alone and Female Foeticide.

She recently[when?] adopted two cheetah cubs at the Prince of Wales zoological park in Lucknow.[15]

Mirza, along with Aamir Khan publicly expressed support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a group protesting the building of a dam. This aroused the ire of political activists from the Bharatiya Janata Party, who led a protest march against the actress.[16] Dia won the Green Award at IIFA 2012 for spreading awareness about environment-related issues.

Along with these, Mirza has endorsed for The Body Shop for their stand on the ban on animal testing and propagation of recycled packaging and natural products.[17] She is the Eco Ambassador for Panasonic.

Mirza has been felicitated at award functions for her active involvement in social and environmental issues.[citation needed]

She has been named the ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission's youth-based 'Swachh Saathi' programme. As an ambassador, the actress would interact with school and college students from across the country through awareness sessions, community cleaning activities and motivational videos.[18]

She joined Save The Children India as their first ever artist ambassador. As an ambassador, she will use the reach of her celebrity status to champion the rights of children in India and around the world.[19]

On World Environment Day 2017, she was appointed brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India. She has lent her support to WTI's wildlife conservation endeavours for several years now and is a founder-member of the organisation's Club Nature initiative.[20]


Dia Mirza receiving award from Chitrangada Singh at IIFA 2012
  • Winner, Zee Cine Awards for Best Debut: Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein
  • Winner, Bollywood movie award for Best Debut Newcomer: Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein
  • Nominated, Screen Awards for Most Promising Female Newcomer: Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein
  • Nominated, Screen Awards for Most Promising Female Newcomer: Deewaanapan
  • Nominated, Popular Award for the Best Debut (Female): Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein
  • Winner, Great women achiever award for Beauty
  • Winner, Green Globe Honor for Extraordinary Work by a Public Figure
  • Winner, Women's Achievement Award
  • Winner, The Jaipur Internatio kisser of the world for Best Actress award: Paanch Adhyay
  • Winner, IIFA Green Award for Contribution Towards a Greener Environment
  • Winner, The Sixth Geospa Asiaspa India Awards for Eco Crusader of the Year
  • Ms Eternal Beauty At The Femina Miss India
  • The Woman Of Substance At Rotary Awards
  • Green Crusader of the Year Award at IAA - India Chapter Olive Crown Awards
  • The 'Valerian Of Environmental Issues by the makers of the film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets


Year Film/Album Role Notes
2000 Khoya Khoya Chand Song Herself Lead Role[21]
2001 Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein Reena Malhotra Lead Role
Winner, Zee Cine Awards for Best Debut
Winner, Bollywood movie award for Best Debut Newcomer
Nominated, Screen Awards for Most Promising Female Newcomer
Nominated, Popular Award for the Best Debut (Female)
Deewaanapan Kiran Choudhary Lead Role
Nominated, Screen Awards for Most Promising Female Newcomer: Deewaanapan
2002 Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge Muskaan Lead Role
Tehzeeb Nazneen Jamal Supporting Role
2003 Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye Saundarya Lead Role
Stop! Shama Lead Role
Dum Kaveri Lead Role
2004 Tumsa Nahin Dekha Jia Lead Role
Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na Preeti Special Appearance
Naam Gum Jaayega Natasha/Gitanjali Lead Role
My Brother… Nikhil Special Appearance
Blackmail Mrs. Rathod Special Appearance
2005 Parineeta Gayatri Supporting Role
Dus Anu Dheer Supporting Role
Koi Mere Dil Mein Hai Simran Lead Role
Fight Club – Members Only Anu Chopra Supporting Role
Phir Hera Pheri Item number (song)
2006 Alag Purva Rana Lead Role
Lage Raho Munna Bhai Simran Supporting Role
Prateeksha Reena Brown Lead Role (TV Release)
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Shilpa Lead Role
Shootout at Lokhandwala Meeta Mattoo Supporting Role
Cash Aditi Lead Role
Heyy Babyy Herself Special Appearance in a Song
Om Shanti Om Herself Special Appearance
Dus Kahaniyaan Sia Lead Role
2008 Krazzy 4 Shikha Supporting Role
2009 Kissan Priya Lead Role
Jai Veeru Anna Lead Role
Acid Factory Max Lead Role
Fruit and Nut Monica Gokhale Lead Role
Kurbaan Rehana (WIACB reporter) Special Appearance
Luck By Chance Herself Special Appearance
2010 Hum Tum Aur Ghost Gehna Lead Role
2011 Love Breakups Zindagi Naina Lead Role
2012 Paanch Adhyay Ishita Bengali Film Debut
Winner, The Jaipur International Film Festival for Best Actress award: Paanch Adhyay
2014 Bobby Jasoos Herself Producer of the Film
2015 Familywala TBA Release Date: 31 October 2014 (India)[22]
2016 Salaam Mumbai Karishma Release Date: 15 November 2016 (India)[23]
2018 Untitled Sanjay Dutt Biopic Maanayata Release Date March 30 2018[24]


  • 2016 Ganga - The Soul of India as herself


  1. ^ Sen, Sushmita (9 December 2015). "Happy Birthday Dia Mirza: Vinod Jagtap, Priyanka, Riteish, others wish her on social media". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  2. ^ "Turning 30 is fabulous: Dia Mirza". The Indian Express. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  3. ^ "I took my surname Mirza from my step-father: Dia Mirza". The Times of India. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sahil Sangha Biography". Oneindia Entertainment. 
  5. ^ "Love Breakups Zindagi – Sweet and honest sans drama". indiaglitz. 
  6. ^ a b "I took my surname Mirza from my step-father: Dia Mirza". The Times of India. 
  7. ^ "Dia Mirzas Wedding to be a Private Affair – NDTV Movies". NDTVMovies.com. 
  8. ^ "Dia Mirza – 2000-1991! – Miss India Winners 2009-1964 – Archives – Femina Miss India". Indiatimes. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Inside Dia Mirza, Sahil Sangha's Wedding". NDTV Movies. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dia Mirza debuts in Bengali films with 'Paanch Adhyay'". IBNLive. 
  11. ^ "Dia Mirza's PAANCH ADHYAY selected for Mumbai Film Fest". glamsham.com. 
  12. ^ "I am a femme fatale who is also a gangster". 
  13. ^ "ENDURING BEAUTIES". The Times of India. 
  14. ^ "Miss India Winners 2000 – 1991 – Indiatimes.com". Feminamissindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "Actress Dia Mirza adopts leopard cubs". The Times of India. 13 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "BJP blasts Dia Mirza for anti-dam stand". Rediff. Retrieved 24 May 2006. 
  17. ^ "Dia Mirza appointed Body Shop's brand ambassador". The Navhind Times. 
  18. ^ "Dia Mirza named ambassador for 'Swachh Saathi' programme". ABP Live. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Dia Mirza joins 'Save The Children' as Artist Ambassador". savethechildren.in. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "DIA MIRZA NAMED WILDLIFE TRUST OF INDIA'S BRAND AMBASSADOR". Mumbai Mirror. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  21. ^ Khoya Khoya Chand Rehta Hai. 5 December 2007 – via YouTube. 
  22. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1353093/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt
  23. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5755594/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt
  24. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/dia-mirza-to-play-manyata-in-sanjay-dutts-biopic/articleshow/56713123.cms

External links[edit]