A young Sikh has been praised for abandoning religious protocol after rushing to aid an injured child who had been hit by a car.
Harman Singh was in his Auckland home on Friday when he heard screeching tyres and ran outside to find five-year-old Daejon Pahia lying in the road.
Singh removed his turban to stem the bleeding from Daejon’s head and helped comfort the boy until an ambulance arrived, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Harman Singh is seen with his turban unwrapped, helping Daejon Pahia
Normally, turbans are only removed in intimate circumstances such as bathing the head or washing the hair, but the 22-year-old told the newspaper: “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.”
Daejon suffered a serious head injury and lacerations to his kidneys after he was hit by a four wheel drive on his way to school, Auckland Now reports.
He is now conscious and able to eat in hospital and his mother Shiralee said she was grateful for Singh’s actions and that her son had been asking about those who helped him.
Singh says it was his job to help
Gagan Dhillon witnessed the scene and pressed the significance of Singh’s act, adding: “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.
“I saw him with no head covering and thought, ‘That’s strange’. But then I saw one had was underneath the boy’s head supporting it and his siropao [turban] was stopping the bleeding.
“… He didn’t care that this head was uncovered in public. He just wanted to help this little boy.”
Mukhtiar Singh, a relationship executive at Sikh Youth Australia echoed these sentiments to the Sydney Morning Herald.
He said: “For us, the turban is a very, very important component and we don’t take it off in public.
“In circumstances like that happened in New Zealand, we also practice humanity. It was very, very important to save the child.”
Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest-religion, with around 25million devotees worldwide.
The faith teaches all people are equal before God and should develop their spiritual character through generosity, humility and compassion. Sikhs typically keep their hair uncut as a symbol of unity with God, with men – and some women – covering their hair with turbans as a mark of faith.