There are “elaborate plans” made to ensure a safe and efficient parliament session amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu said. The Parliament’s monsoon session is set to begin from September.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Naidu said also discussed various issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic, his routines to keep healthy, the upcoming Parliament session and his experience as Vice President of India.
On his experience as Vice President so far, Naidu said his three years in office have been satisfying. “I am trying to make the institution more dynamic, meaningful and purposeful. As Chairman of the Upper House, I am trying to make it more lively, constructive and productive,” he added.
He also shared changes that will be brought about to ensure smooth functioning amid COVID-19. “Apart from maintaining strict social-distancing norms in seating arrangement, there will be 10 display screens to show the live proceedings. While ministers, former prime ministers and floor leaders of various parties will get preference in the main chamber, for the first time many MPs, including those from the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will be seated in the galleries. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in the air-conditioning system will be used to kill or inactivate microorganisms,” he said.
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He added that, in his role as the vice president, he has been visiting educational Institutes, meeting scientists, farmers, doctors and professionals … “conveying my thoughts and also seeking feedback.”
He also spoke his experience with forced confinement, but pointed out the difference with the current health crisis: “Although I was confined wrongfully for about 17-and-a-half months during the Emergency, this confinement is altogether different.”
On the personal health front, Naidu said he plans daily activities to keep busy. “The first thing is to reset the mind to the new situation, which I have done,” he added.
From staying virtually connected to people, to taking daily walks and gardening with his wife, badminton games with household staff yoga, reading newspapers, devotional songs and food, besides attending virtual public activities have been his routine.
“The lockdown also provided an opportunity to sit back and reflect on life, to introspect on what has been achieved and what needs to be done… It’s time to rethink and reorient our behaviour,” Naidu said, adding that after speaking to people and listening to their comments, he conveys important issues to the concerned ministries and also provides the prime minister feedback on important issues.
Naidu also advised the young to “reset your mind and reorient your priorities.”
“My advice to children is to learn cooking-- be it girls or boys… learn one or more Indian languages in addition to their mother tongue… focus on physical fitness and eating good nutritious, protein-rich food. Today what is required is strong immunity... revisit your life, analyse what is missing, reorient and reorganise your life,” he said.
He also conveyed the message to “be humane” as it gives moral strength and creates positivity.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here