May 18, 2015 9:47 AM EDT

A Sikh man broke strict religious protocol on Friday and removed his turban to help a child who’d been hit by a car outside his home in Auckland.

Harman Singh, 22, saw that the 5-year-old boy’s head was bleeding and acted immediately, removing his turban despite the fact that his religion prohibits him to do so in public.

“I wasn’t thinking about the turban,” Singh told The New Zealand Herald. “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.”

He added: “I think anyone else would have done the same as me.”

Singh’s heroic act earned him praise around the world over the weekend. “Total strangers are asking to be friends on Facebook and thousands of people have said ‘Well done,’ ” he told the paper Saturday. “I was only doing what I had to and trying to be a decent member of the community.”

The boy was taken to the hospital with life-threatening head injuries, though he was in stable condition as of Friday evening.


This article originally appeared on

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like