Saroj Lal was a remarkable woman. One of a kind. She was a leading figure in Edinburgh and Scotland during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, fighting against racism, injustice and discrimination.

She defended the rights of black, Asian and elderly people, and fought for equality for women and refugees. She helped communities to learn English, and minority children to learn their mother tongue, traditional music and dance.

She worked with many people to help her do this – the government, the immigration department, the local council, the police, schools, libraries, hospitals, prisons, social workers, charities, churches, temples and mosques. She even took a lonely patient all the way back to India to reunite him with his parents. It was in her nature.

Saroj battled hard for things to change and improve, and she made life better for so many children and their families. Right here, in our city.

Here are just some of the words people have used to describe her:

• A pioneering Asian teacher
• A champion for children and education
• An activist for anti-racist education, diversity and inclusion
• A campaigner for equality, justice and Edinburgh’s minority communities
• A feminist who cared about women and women’s rights
• A trailblazer for race relations in Scotland
• An Asian woman ahead of her time, long before Black Lives Matter
• An inspiration for generations to come

This is her story – and why we should name our new school after her.