I have written earlier about internet based applications and services and their positive impact by way of bridging infrastructural gaps. An interesting article in this regard tells us about Taking Indian handicrafts online
As per the article Craftsvilla.com is an e-commerce site that tied up with an NGO to provide an interface to about 5000 artisans across India to sell their handicrafts online thereby expanding their market access. There are challenges in terms of commissions paid to various service intermediaries and continued dependence of craftsmen on wholesale dealers but the reach of the handicrafts themselves expands to a larger market.
My grouse is that the website does not sell handicrafts as handicrafts but rather tries to entice buyers by using references to popular culture. Other than that this is a welcome initiative. What India needs is lots more connectivity and e-literacy so craftsmen can deal directly with buyers through e-commerce portals much as we use e-bay like sites as individuals.