Did you know that you as a citizen of India has right to visit the Parliament and see its proceedings from a visitor’s gallery?
It is not a Tourist Destination but visiting this place is no less fascinating. To visit the Parliament house, you must need to know a member of Parliament or an Official of Rajya Sabha who can apply for a Visitor’s pass on your behalf. The access of the same can let you visit the house.
With many galleries on first floor as Public Gallery, Press Gallery, Distinguished Visitor’s gallery, Lok Sabha Member’s gallery and a Special box, the members sit in the hall beneath this floor. As an Ordinary Citizen, you will have an access to the Public Gallery with a seating capacity of 160 members. Press Gallery is meant for Media Personnel, distinguished visitor’s gallery if for Legislative Members, spouses of the Parliamentarians and other distinguished Public Figures. While Special Box is meant for the Governor of the States, visiting heads of the States and Guests of the President , Lok Sabha Member’s Gallery is meant for the members of lower house to witness the proceedings of upper house.
Many of us do watch the Parliament proceedings live in our television sets but watching the same in the same space is all-together an exciting experience. Known as Formal Protocol, where all the members of the house address the chair of the house and they speak with each other through him/her. In case of Rajya Sabha, Chairman of the house is Vice President of India.
The most fascinating fact about these proceedings is that you can hear it in any Regional Language as desired. A headphone available to each seat, which can be switch to any language as required. Some live interpreters interpret the spoken words instantaneously for you. This facility has been incorporated in a view that every member speaks using the language known to him/her which might not be understandable to other members. So in order to ensure smooth proceedings in the house, the members as well as the audience are facilitated with the choice of language.
Children below the age of 10 are not allowed. You can reach the Public Gallery after a strict security check. Mobiles, Pen, Paper and Camera – all these things are not allowed within the premises. A wallet with only cash is only allowed to take along. Clear instructions regarding restriction of your body movements to minimal during the proceedings and to sit straight without crossing your legs etc are provided. Rajya Sabha Greeting card is provided as a token of visit.
This visit gives one a first-hand learning experience of what we know since years.