Touching moment a Sikh man breaks strict religious protocol and removes his turban to help save life of a five-year-old boy who was hit by a car
- New Zealand man broke strict religious protocol to help a boy hit by a car
- Harman Singh, 22, removed his turban and used it to cradle the boy’s head
- People from across the globe have dubbed Mr Singh a hero for his actions
- Mr Singh overwhelmed by the thousands of messages he has received
A Sikh student from New Zealand who broke strict religious protocol by taking off his turban to help save the life of a child hit by a car has been heralded as a hero.
Harman Singh, 22, removed his turban to cradle the bleeding head of a five-year-old boy who had been struck on his way to school in Takanini, South Auckland.
‘I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him. His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head,’ he said.
‘I wasn’t thinking about the turban. I was thinking about the accident and I just thought, “He needs something on his head because he’s bleeding”. That’s my job – to help.
‘And I think anyone else would have done the same as me.’
Mr Singh and other members of the public stayed with the boy until emergency services arrived. Not long after the accident, the boy’s mother arrived.
Another man, Gagan Dhillon, was on his way to work when he saw the accident and stopped to help.
He said: ‘There was enough help as there was, but being a Sikh myself, I know what type of respect the turban has. People just don’t take it off – people die over it.
‘He didn’t care that his head was uncovered in public. He just wanted to help this little boy.’
The five-year-old was reportedly walking to school with his older sister when he was hit. He was thought to have suffered life-threatening head injuries, but last night was in a stable condition in hospital.
A resident nearby said she heard a vehicle skidding, and then a big bang.
Charmaine Tuhaka told how she and two others held the boy still to prevent him moving and further injuring himself, while his sister stood in tears.
Mr Singh broke strict Sikh religious protocol by removing his turban, but he has been praised by people from around the world for the heroic act.
Since the incident occurred, Mr Singh has received thousands of messages and comments on his Facebook page.
‘Great symbol of – we are all human beings. We have our individual beliefs, but at the end of the day to care for one another is key,’ Ashleigh Garrett said on Facebook.
‘This is why I have high respect for the Sikhism faith. Awesome job mate!,’ one person commented.
‘Humanity before religion. Nice one buddy,’ another said.
Mr Singh, from India, is in Auckland studying a business course. He said he was overwhelmed with all the praise.
‘Thousands of people have said ‘well done’. I was only doing what I had to and trying to be a decent member of the community,’ he said.
‘Thanks to all who messages, calls… thanks all the worldwide Facebook members who messaged me. I think i just did my job nothing else.’
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A SIKH MAN REMOVING HIS TURBAN IN PUBLIC
Sikhism is the only religion in the world which requires its followers to tie a turban.
Sikh men and women do not cut their hair and cover their heads at all times as an expression of respect to their Gurus. The Sikh turban symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility and spirituality.
Turbans become a part of a Sikh’s body and are usually removed only in the privacy of their own house. Normally it is only in the most intimate of circumstances, when bathing the head, or washing the hair.
In 2009, a Sikh police officer in the UK said he had been ‘humiliated’ by his Greater Manchester Police colleagues after refusing to remove his turban for training and undergoing practices that would breach his faith.
At an employment tribunal, he said the actions of his colleagues left him suffering panic attacks and high blood pressure. He was awarded £12,600 in compensation.
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