Shri Lalji Mehrotra, in his involvement with the Non Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s freedom struggle, spent some time at Gandhiji’s ashram at Sewagram, Wardha. This was also the incubation centre for Gandhiji’s ideas on education, known as ‘Nai Taalim’. The vision and approach of Sar-La Education Trust has been influenced by these principles.
Sar-La Education Trust is the result of a dream of a warm large hearted couple, Shrimati Saroj Mehrotra and Shri Lalji Mehrotra who together delved into many philanthropic activities, and one among many such was the Sar-La Education Trust.
All along, standing by his side, Saroj ji pursued her yearning for knowledge through private education, even as her children were growing up and well past their education years. Her philanthropic side wanted to reach out to young aspiring girls in small towns. Shri Lalji was one to support any educational pursuit, be it that of his wife or any stranger in need, particularly in small towns. The trust was a natural extension of what the couple valued – learning of vocations and pursuit of knowledge. And, it was grounded in the principles and values that Gandhiji stood for.
When the couple returned to India, they set up the Lalji Mehrotra Foundation in 1973-74, in Lucknow, to support education of children in small towns like Jaunpur. When the scope of Lalji Mehrotra Foundation was found to be limiting of what more they wished to do in education, the Sar-La Education Trust was set up in 1982 as a joint effort of the couple.