A Sikh man who removed his turban to save a child’s life has been honoured for his efforts.
Harman Singh has received the district commander’s certificate of appreciation at the Counties Manukau police district awards, held at Manukau Institute of Technology on Friday.
Singh was recognised, along with Corporal Jason Affleck from the New Zealand Army, for coming to the aid of 6-year-old Daejon Pahia after the youngster was hit by a car.
Daejon received serious head lacerations during the accident in Manuroa Rd, Takanini, in May this year.
Singh made headlines around the world after he removed his turban, which Sikh men must wear in public at all times, to staunch the blood flowing from Daejon’s head.
The youngster was treated in hospital and is now back at home.
Acting deputy commissioner Grant Nicholls and Hunua MP Andrew Bayly presented Singh and Affleck with their awards.
Inspector Bruce O’Brien, the prevention manager for the Counties Manukau central policing area, praised Singh for his “outstanding compassion and empathy”.
But Singh maintains that he was just acting on instinct. “It’s a very short period of time. You can’t think at the time. You just do it.”
He was “overwhelmed” when he received the email inviting him to the awards ceremony, the 22-year-old said.
“I’m a shy guy, but it’s nice. I’m so happy.”
The media attention following the incident had taken some getting used to.
“It was very uncomfortable doing the first TV interview but the second or third time, you get used to it.”
Singh said his relatives back in India were very proud to hear he was receiving the award.
And he said he would not hesitate to act if ever in a similar situation.
“If something else happens, I have the maturity and I can do the same thing.”