Dia Mirza was born on 9th December in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Born to a Bengali
mother, Deepa, and a German father, Frank Handrich, she grew up imbibing the value
of different world views. Having studied at J Krishnamurti School, where students
get educated not by rote, but by resolute guidance to be free of social conditioning,
Dia learnt to explore her many different facets from a young age.
She valued financial independence and so she worked towards it from a relatively
early age of 16 while continuing her education. With her looks, advertisement offers
started pouring in. Shooting for known brands like Lipton and Walls Ice Cream gave
her the confidence to dive deeper and participate in a beauty pageant that would
go on to transform her fate.
Armed with the winning combination of beauty with brains, Dia stormed through the
Miss India Contest and thereafter the Miss Asia-Pacific Pageant, winning the coveted
title for India, after a wait of 29 long years. The win made her an overnight sensation
back home in India.
She soon transitioned into movies and debuted with Vashu Bhagnani's Rehnaa Hai Terre
Dil Mein. In the last decade, Dia has appeared in several successful films, including
the blockbuster Munnabhai series, Parineeta, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and many
more. In 2012, she forayed into regional cinema with Bengali Filmmaker Pratim Dasgupta's,
Paanch Adhyay. In the same year, Dia also added a new dimension to her cinematic
career, by turning producer along with writer-director and now husband, Sahil Sangha
to form Born Free Entertainment. The couple have successfully produced two acclaimed
films, 'Love, Breakup, Zindagi' and 'Bobby Jasoos' under their banner.
Dia's footprints though, go way beyond Films and far into the ethics of Conservation.
She is a highly active and effective voice on Nature Conservancy in the country
today. Besides being the Ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission's "Swachh Saathi"
program, she is also the ambassador for Sanctuary Asia's Tiger Conservation program,
founder member of Wildlife Trust of India's Club Nature and the face of many pivotal
environmental campaigns including NDTV's Greenathon, Cleanathon and Save the Tigers.
Organizations such as the Genesis Foundation, PETA, The Cancer Patient's association,
ADAPT and the Concern India Foundation have also greatly benefited from her close
association with them.