Round Table International (RTI), a civil society organisation established in 1927 by Louis Marchesi in Norwich, England, holds meetings and events for members as well as others, focusing on personal development and community service. Any professional young man, aged between 18 and 40, can become a member of this global platform.
Sebastian Walter, president of the organisation, visited Bangladesh for the first time, to boost the morale of its members and observe the activities of its Bangladesh chapter.
During his one-day visit on Saturday, he talked with The Daily Star regarding RTI’s activities worldwide.
At a meeting in a Dhaka hotel, Walter said, “Our motto is to adopt, adapt and improve, not just for ourselves but also for the communities we work in.”
“It’s a brotherhood organisation and we have a large network which young men from any profession can join,” he said.
Remembering his early involvement in RTI, he said, “I was a university student in 2004 and helped tsunami victims. Then I realised you need a big organisation and the company of like-minded people to change the society. So when I came to know about the activities of RTI, I joined.”
He also visited a charity project of RTI’s Dhaka chapter where school supplies were distributed among underprivileged children.
According to its website, RTI has 54 associations operating across 58 countries. Some of the associations cover multiple countries. Each association has at least three tables or clubs, with maximum 25 members in each club.
“RTI doesn’t have an association in Bangladesh, but there’s a club called Dhaka Round Table with 16 members. We would like to expand our tables through community work and youth engagement,” said International Relations Officer of Dhaka Round Table, Ejaz Mahmood Rony. Along with Rony, the committee in Dhaka includes Chairman Sifat Uddin Beg, Vice Chairman Mahmood Al Waheed and Secretary Asif Mahmud Sakib.
Dhaka Round Table started its work in 2013 but officially received approval from RTI in 2016, Rony said. Any Bangladeshi youth can be a member of it by paying a yearly membership fee of Tk 2,300.