Aucklander who removed turban to help wounded boy praised worldwide.

Harman Singh woke up yesterday to hundreds of messages from around the world praising his humanity. A picture of the 22-year-old Sikh breaking religious protocol by removing his turban to cradle a boy hit by a car has turned him into an instant hero.

Singh revealed yesterday he shouldn't have even been at the scene. He told the Herald on Sunday that he was only at home when the incident happened because he changed his shift as a bakery delivery driver the day before.

"I would normally have been at work, so the timing was a bit of luck," he said. "I thought I would be having a quiet morning off."

Singh said he was in bed when he heard tyres screeching and rushed outside.

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Singh cushions the boy's head with his turban. Photo / Daljit Singh
Singh cushions the boy's head with his turban. Photo / Daljit Singh

"I saw a little boy lying in the road and there was a lot of blood coming from the back of his head. A lady was holding him and he wasn't moving.

"I feared the worst. His mother was there, too and she was in shock."

The boy was going to school with his sister when the accident happened.

A couple of months ago, an elderly woman collapsed in front of Singh and banged her head.

I was only doing what I had to and trying to be a decent member of the community.
Harman Singh

"On that occasion I started to roll my turban up but I put it back on again," he explained. "I thought afterwards that this had been a bit of a mistake. When I saw the little boy was bleeding I decided this time I would take the turban off and use it. Anyone would have done the same."

The accident happened outside his house in Takanini, South Auckland, on Friday morning. Singh has since received hundreds of Facebook herograms from as far afield as the US, Europe and India, he said. His story has been shared tens of thousands of times on social media.

Singh, 22, from India, is in Auckland studying a business course. His act is considered a hugely significant because it breaks strict religious protocol.

He was overwhelmed at the number of messages of support from around the globe. "Total strangers are asking to be friends on Facebook and 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."

The boy was thought to have suffered life-threatening head injuries but was last night recovering in Starship Hospital after surgery.

"He had multiple injuries but is in a stable condition and has a period of recovery in front of him," a Starship spokeswoman said.

Singh did not know the injured boy but hoped to hear from his family about his progress.