Chess coach reaches out to public for treatment funds 


Express News Service

BENGALURU: Chess, to Durgesh K, was his life and livelihood. But now at Sakra World Hospital after a brain haemorrhage, his family wonders the road ahead. He  has coached several budding chess players including Sanjana Raghunath and Komal Srivatsav Sajja. But now the right side of Durgesh’s body has been paralysed. Doctors have said recovery – which includes neurological rehabilitation, physiotherapy, psychological support to name a few – could take at least a year.

“His life revolved around chess. We were middle school students in the early ’90s when he got acquainted with the game through our neighbours in Chamrajpet,” says Rajeshwari, his sister. “His life revolved around the mind game, so we are just wondering how things will pan out,” she adds.

After almost a month in the ICU, Durgesh came out on September 5 and is now undergoing neuro-rehabilitation. “Doctors have said that his right side of the brain and body have been affected. That will affect his memory and recognition powers too. He opened his left eye recently, but was not able to tell anything,” she says. 

On August 3, Durgesh was at his laptop when he suddenly collapsed. His elderly father called up Rajeshwari, who lives in the vicinity, to rush him to hospital. With hospitals full, they had to wait until the next morning before he was admitted to Trustwell Hospitals on JC Road. Incidentally, one of the parents of his students, who works at the hospital, upon hearing about the news, accommodated him in the facility. During post-operative care, Durgesh tested Covid-19 positive.

His recovery is a long process and as of August 30, he had been billed over `14 lakh with his insurance cover being `10 lakh. “We are facing issues with insurance too. We somehow managed to pay the bill but we’ve reached a point where we still need to raise funds. We’ve decided to crowd-fund on Ketto and so far, we have raised `7.24 lakh,” she says, adding that they are hoping to raise a total of `10 lakh. “We don’t know how long this will go and cannot estimate a cost at this stage,” she says. 

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