Bystander apathy and possible ways to overcome it – A conversation with experts

Bystander apathy is one of the biggest evils in our society. When we witness an accident, most of us choose to do nothing to make sure that the person receives immediate help. Statistics show that almost half the lives lost in road accidents could have been saved if bystanders had offered help.

While many of us do not know what to do to help an accident victim or a victim of violence, most of us do not come forward to help because we fear getting involved with the police and the law. Many of us even think that it is none of our business to get involved, especially in cases of violence. This attitude alone results in loss of life and also inhibits people's involvement in building a better society.

So how do we overcome bystander apathy? To get more insight into the issue, we spoke to experts and here’s what they had to say:

Definition of Bystander Apathy

Some important statistics

Why people do nothing

Help for accident victims

For victims of violence

The Golden Hour

The Good Samaritan Law

To involve a bystander

Not knowing what to do should never be an excuse to helping another person - not knowing is our fault. Apart from knowing the steps of first response, we also need to be more aware of laws like Good Samaritan Law to know how to evade unpleasant experiences, and fulfil our duties towards helping a person in need.

What are your views on overcoming bystander apathy in India? Share your views with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or email us at


Views expressed here are of the experts alone and do not necessarily represent that of the brand.

More about the Experts:

SaveLife Foundation (SLF)

SaveLife Foundation (SLF) is an independent, non-profit non-governmental organization committed to improving road safety and emergency medical care across India. We combine innovative on-ground interventions with advocacy for stronger national level policies to create a sustainable impact on the ground.

Saji Cherian

Saji Cherian is currently working as the Director of Operations for SaveLIFE.Foundation, a non-profit focused on improving road safety and emergency care across India.A lawyer by education, Mr. Cherian is responsible for spearheading the most ambitious project SLF has undertaken - The Zero Fatality Corridor project which aims to convert the Mumbai-Pune Expressway into a zero fatality zone within the next 5 years.

Dr. Prof Tamorish Kole

Prof Tamorish Kole is the Principal Consultant and Head of Emergency Medicine at Max Healthcare, New Delhi and also a Post Graduate teacher of Emergency Medicine at the National Board of Examinations of India. He is the immediate past president of the Society for Emergency Medicine, India. He is also an alumnus of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) (U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program) for the year 2013 in the area of crisis and disaster management.

Sharmila Kher

Sharmila Kher heads Communication and manages Fundraising at a not for Profit in Mumbai but her real passion lies in rights for and of people. She also works on several committees to secure rights for women at the workplace under the ambit of the Prevention of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.

Shrikant Ayyangar

Shrikant Ayyangar is a communications and digital marketing expert. Presently, he manages public relations and press communication at Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation. He has over four years of experience in journalism and content editing. Shrikant is also an avid blogger and traveler who loves to explore off-beat destinations around India.

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