Dia Mirza (Miss Asia Pacific International 2000): A Multifaceted Talent Making a Difference

Introduction of Dia Mirza

In the glitzy world of Bollywood, where stars often dazzle with their talent and charisma, Dia Mirza has managed to stand out as a versatile actress, a successful producer, and an influential social activist. Born on December 9, 1981, in Hyderabad, India, Dia’s journey from a multicultural upbringing to becoming the Miss Asia Pacific 2000 has been nothing short of extraordinary. In this blog, we will delve into the remarkable life and career of Dia Mirza, exploring her achievements, contributions, and her unwavering commitment to various social and environmental causes.

Early Life and Education

Dia Mirza’s early life was marked by diversity and change. Her father, Frank Handrich, a German graphic designer and architect, and her mother, Deepa, a Bengali interior designer and landscaper, divorced when Dia was just four years old. Her mother later remarried Ahmed Mirza, a Muslim man from Hyderabad, and Dia adopted her step-father’s surname. This multicultural background would later become an integral part of her identity and shape her perspective.

Dia’s educational journey took her through various schools in Hyderabad, including Vidyaranya High School, Nasr School, and Stanley Girls High School. After completing her school education, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ambedkar Open University in Hyderabad.

Rising to Fame: Miss Asia Pacific 2000

It was Dia’s entry into the world of modeling that paved the way for her incredible journey. At the age of 16, she was scouted by a modeling agent, and her striking features and confident demeanor quickly caught the industry’s attention. She balanced her burgeoning modeling career with her studies, even enrolling in a journalism diploma course at Ambedkar Open University, although she had to eventually drop out due to her busy schedule.

In 2000, Dia Mirza decided to take a leap and participate in the Femina Miss India pageant, a pivotal moment that would change her life. Competing against 25 other finalists, including future stars like Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra, Dia’s grace, intelligence, and confidence led to her being crowned as Femina Miss India-Asia Pacific. This title meant that she would represent India at the Miss Asia Pacific International pageant later that year. She also won several other sub-titles, such as Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Avon, and Miss Close-Up Smile.

The Miss Asia Pacific International pageant in Manila, Philippines, in December 2000 was a defining moment in Dia’s life. With her eloquence, charm, and captivating personality, she excelled in all rounds of the competition. She was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International 2000, making her the first Indian to win this prestigious title in 29 years.

Stepping into Bollywood

Dia Mirza’s crowning achievement as Miss Asia Pacific opened the doors to Bollywood. In 2001, she made her acting debut in the romantic film “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein,” directed by Gautham Menon. The film, a remake of Menon’s Tamil film “Minnale,” received a warm reception from both critics and audiences. Dia portrayed the role of Reena Malhotra, a young woman who falls in love with a man impersonating her fiancé, and her performance earned her the Zee Cine Award for Best Debut.

Her acting career continued to flourish as she took on a variety of roles in films such as “Dum,” “Deewaanapan,” “Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge,” “Tumsa Nahin Dekha: A Love Story,” “Parineeta,” “Dus,” “Lage Raho Munna Bhai,” and “Salaam Mumbai.” Her diverse roles showcased her acting skills and screen presence, earning her praise from critics and fans alike.

In 2018, she played the role of Manyata Dutt, the wife of actor Sanjay Dutt, in the biopic “Sanju,” directed by Rajkumar Hirani. The film became a massive commercial and critical success, ranking among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. Dia’s portrayal of Manyata and her chemistry with Ranbir Kapoor, who played Sanjay Dutt, were particularly acclaimed.

In 2020, Dia Mirza appeared in the film “Thappad,” directed by Anubhav Sinha. The film addressed the issues of domestic violence and patriarchal norms in society. Dia played the character Shivani, a successful lawyer and a friend of the protagonist, portrayed by Taapsee Pannu. “Thappad” won the Filmfare Award for Best Film and was lauded for its powerful message and performances.

She also ventured into the digital space with the web series “Kaafir,” released on ZEE5 in 2019. The series, set in Kashmir, was based on the true story of a Pakistani woman imprisoned in India for 14 years. Dia portrayed Kainaaz Akhtar, a woman striving to prove her innocence and reunite with her daughter, earning her the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award for Best Actress.

Producer and Entrepreneur

Dia Mirza’s creative endeavors extended beyond acting. In 2011, she co-founded the production house “Born Free Entertainment” with her ex-husband Sahil Sangha. Their first film, “Love Breakups Zindagi,” was released the same year and explored the lives and relationships of different individuals. The romantic comedy starred Dia and Zayed Khan in lead roles.

She went on to produce films like “Bobby Jasoos,” a comedy-thriller starring Vidya Balan, and the web series “Mind The Malhotras” on Amazon Prime Video. In 2019, she launched her production house, “One India Stories,” with the aim of creating content that is relevant and impactful.

Dedicated Social Activist

Dia Mirza is not just a talented actress and producer; she is also a dedicated social activist committed to making the world a better place. Her advocacy covers a wide range of causes, including:

1. Environmental Conservation:

Dia is the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India and the UN Secretary General’s Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals. She tirelessly works to raise awareness about climate change, biodiversity, air pollution, plastic pollution, clean energy, and wildlife conservation.

2. Women Empowerment:

Dia has been a strong voice for gender equality and women’s empowerment. She supports and participates in campaigns and initiatives that celebrate and promote the rights and achievements of women.

3. Child Welfare:

She is associated with organizations like the Cancer Patients Aid Association and the Spastics Society of India, working to support and empower people battling cancer and living with disabilities.

4. Animal Rights:

Dia is a staunch advocate for animal rights and works with organizations like PETA, CRY, Wildlife Trust of India, Sanctuary Nature Foundation, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

5. Sustainable Living:

She practices and promotes a sustainable lifestyle, from adopting a vegetarian diet to refusing single-use plastics, and even having her own waste management system through segregation and composting.

Challenging Gender Norms

Dia Mirza’s commitment to social and environmental causes extends to her personal life. In a bold move, she challenged traditional gender norms by having a female priest, Sheela Atta, perform the rituals at her wedding to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi in 2021. This unconventional choice highlighted her belief that gender should not determine one’s profession and that everyone should have equal opportunities.

Personal Life and Motherhood

Dia Mirza’s personal life has seen significant milestones in recent years. In 2014, she married Sahil Sangha, a film producer and director, in a grand wedding ceremony in Delhi. However, the couple announced their separation in 2019 after five years of marriage.

In 2021, Dia married businessman Vaibhav Rekhi in a simple and intimate ceremony in Mumbai, attended by close family and friends. In April 2021, she announced her pregnancy and welcomed her first child, Avyaan Azaad Rekhi, in May 2021. Her family now includes her step-daughter, Samaira, from Vaibhav’s previous marriage.

Current Ventures

Dia Mirza continues to be active in her personal and professional life. Here are some of her current ventures:

1. Motherhood:

Dia’s most recent role is that of a mother. She welcomed her son Avyaan Azaad Rekhi in May 2021. In an Instagram post, she shared her joy and gratitude while also addressing the challenges of his premature birth.

2. Acting:

Dia Mirza has continued to excel in her acting career with notable roles in web series and films. She has been part of projects such as “Bheed,” “Made in Heaven” (Season 2), and the Indian adaptation of the French series “Call My Agent.” She will also be appearing in the upcoming movie “Jee Le Zaraa,” which is directed by Farhan Akhtar.

3. Skincare Ambassador:

Dia is the brand ambassador of Lotus Organics+, a beauty brand that offers natural and organic skincare products. She has shared her skincare secrets and routine, emphasizing the importance of simple and natural skincare.

4. Activism:

Dia Mirza remains dedicated to her advocacy work. She continues to collaborate with organizations like the Wildlife Trust of India and the United Nations on environmental and social causes. Her work as an advocate for sustainable living and gender equality is ongoing.


Dia Mirza’s life and career are a testament to the transformative power of talent, passion, and commitment. From her early days as a model to becoming Miss Asia Pacific 2000 and subsequently an acclaimed actress and producer, she has continuously broken barriers and pushed boundaries. Moreover, her dedication to social and environmental causes showcases her as a true leader and a role model. With her versatile talents and unwavering commitment, Dia Mirza continues to inspire and make a significant impact on the world, both on and off the silver screen. She exemplifies the notion that being a celebrity isn’t just about fame and glamour but also about using one’s platform to drive positive change in society and the environment.

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