Refugee Relief Tax 

Back in 1999, I wrote an article for ‘India Post’, that tackles the variety of short-lived handstamped stamps that were used to collect the tax raised by the Government of India to help refugees in the crisis of 1971, that was caused by the independence struggle of Bangladesh. 

The text of that article follows. I am uploading new images and fresh discoveries, state by state. 


The Coding System

Links given are to the first page showing that type

 1st element: appearance

1st Digit: 

2nd Digit:

3rd Digit:

  •  Mixed Case
    • No Serifs
      • Upright  1
      • Italic       2
    • Serifs
      • Upright     3
      • Italic         4
    CAPITALS
    • NO SERIFS
      • UPRIGHT  5
      • ITALICS     6
    • SERIFS
      • UPRIGHT   7
      • ITALICS       8 

This completes a 3-digit code which could be used to describe the look of any handstamp, thus 265 is the Family Planning design handstamped with unframed two lines of no serif capitals English, and incidentally the most frequently-met type.

2nd element: 1st three digits of the PIN of what I take to bethe Head Office responsible for the issue.

Check out your own collection

I want collectors to be able to check your own material. Use the coding system to give your own handstamps codes. If you know where the item was used, you will be able to give it a full code, the 3 digits and the state code. If I do not know about it, please let me know through the forms that you will find throughout the site.  Where I am aware that similar handstamps are found in different states, I have tried to put some links on those pages, but as a rule the site map is your first place to find out where any particular 3-digit code is to be found on the site.