In 2005, Dipendra Manocha received national award for his contribution in the area of disability. Being visually impaired himself, since his early childhood, Dipendra overcame all challenges and graduated as a merit student. He also completed his M Phil in Indian Classical music. However, during his Ph. D, Dipendra was frustrated by his dependence on others for reading and writing. It was then that he decided to switch his interest from music and devote his life to finding a solution to this problem.
Information Technology played an important role in his quest to provide reading and writing facilities for people with visual impairment. He was one of the pioneers in learning the technology to work on the computer with a screen reading software. Dipendra found it more interesting to research in the field of I.T. rather than in music. He used his knowledge to make technology user friendly and help many blind people become a part of the mainstream.
As a director I.T. and Services at National Association for the Blind (N.A.B.) Dipendra, works to rehabilitate people with visual impairment. He has been spearheading the Information Technology (I.T.) related services, which includes computer training, Braille production and Digital Talking Book services.
Dipendra's continuous endeavour to develop new and innovative ways to reach out to millions of blind people of our country led him to develop SAFA, a Hindi screen reading software. This software is being used extensively in all N.A.B Centers at Delhi. It is now being installed in ten different organizations within Delhi. Training is being provided to the users, which will include learning to use the computer with Hindi Key board. This has been a boon to many visually impaired people who are Hindi speaking. As Dipendra says, "Now we do not have to refuse admission to those who do not have access to English language. This was pricking our conscious for a long time".
Dipendra is also an active member of Daisy consortium. The members of this consortium are involved in producing Braille and e text books; their aim is to put together the huge potential of digital technology for the benefit of people with visual impairment. The Project Daisy helps to define guidelines to store books in the digital format, it also plays these books so that they are easily accessible. Daisy consortium started a project called 'Daisy for All' with the objective to produce digital talking books for developing countries. Dipendra is now working as Assistant Project Manager for DAISY For All for South Asian Countries. With the help of this technology, visually impaired people all over the world do not have to depend on friends and relatives for reading and writing.
Besides this, Dipendra continues to work for the empowerment of people with special needs. He has been the Chairman of the Youth Committee of the Asian Blind Union and the Chairman of the I.C.T. access group of persons with vision impairment in India. Dipendra also participated in the pilot project on creation of barrier-free environment in the year 1996-1997.
In spite of his busy schedule, Dipendra finds time to volunteer his services as a consultant to set up a resource center at the Delhi University. He is also a managing trustee of an N.G.O , called Saksham Trust.
Dipendra's achievements and his efforts to overcome the challenges posed by blindness have inspired not only people with visual impairment but also the sighted.