Inaugural event scheduled for Saturday at UI Arboretum

URBANA — The first Aruna 5K run will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the University of Illinois Arboretum, with the goal of running to help women and children enslaved in the brothels of India.

Race organizers gave this information: In a 2-square mile area of India, an estimated 15,000 women and children, some as young as 12, are held captive in commercial sexual exploitation. Aruna, a Hindi word meaning "bright morning sun," is the name of an initiative in South Asia working to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate the women and children back into society.

The Aruna 5K takes place in cities throughout America, with all the proceeds going to the Aruna Project, which works to free women and children from sexual exploitation. This is primarily done through relationships the Aruna Project staff develop over time by visiting brothels on a daily basis.

They try to rehabilitate the women and children through counseling, adult literacy classes, and skill and trade development, with the goal of helping them to sustain lifelong freedom through employment.

To register for the race or sponsor other runners in the UI Aruna 5K, visit http://www.Aruna5k.com.

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