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Sikh Man Breaks Protocol, Removes Turban to Help Boy

Harman Singh got a surprise of his own after his act of kindness
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2015 11:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – Harman Singh is a devout Sikh, meaning his turban stays on his head at all times when he's not in the privacy of his own home. But Singh broke religious protocol earlier this month when 5-year-old Daejon Pahia was hit by a car in Auckland, New Zealand. The 22-year-old rushed into the street and took his turban off to cushion the child's bleeding head, and the photo of him doing so went viral, the Telegraph reports. The public started bombarding social media with praise and thanks for Singh, even though he noted that emergency situations took priority over his religion's headgear mandate. "I wasn't thinking about the turban," he says, per the New Zealand Herald. "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."

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Whether or not that's true, some wanted to repay Singh for his charitable act. When a local news crew went to his home to interview him about the incident, they noticed his spare living conditions, the India Times reports. The TV station teamed up with a nearby furniture store and and surprised Singh with a second visit, pulling up in a van stocked with a new bed, coffee table, and sofa set. Singh was so surprised that he started crying, as did the station interviewer and the furniture rep. "Thank you, thanks a lot. I'm very happy," he says in the video documenting the delivery. Meanwhile, little Daejon is expected to make a full recovery despite suffering a serious head injury and kidney lacerations. (Some people mix up Sikhs and Muslims—but they're both targets of bigotry, a prominent Sikh says.)

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