This paper exploits the extreme learning machine (ELM) approach to address diabetic retinopathy (DR), a medical condition in which impairment occurs to the retina caused by diabetes. DR, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, is a sort of swelling leakage due to excessive blood sugar in the retina vessels. An early-stage diagnosis is therefore beneficial to prevent diabetes patients from losing their sight. This study introduced a novel method to detect DR for binary class and multiclass classification based on the APTOS-2019 blindness detection and Messidor-2 datasets. First, DR images have been pre-processed using Ben Graham's approach. After that, contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE) has been used to get contrast-enhanced images with lower noise and more distinguishing features. Then a novel hybrid convolutional neural network-singular value decomposition model has been developed to reduce input features for classifiers. Finally, the proposed method uses an ELM algorithm as the classifier that minimizes the training time cost. The experiments focus on accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score and demonstrate the feasibility of adopting the proposed scheme for DR diagnosis. The method outperforms the existing techniques and shows an optimistic accuracy and recall of 99.73% and 100%, respectively, for binary class. For five stages of DR classification, the proposed model achieved an accuracy of 98.09% and 96.26% for APTOS-2019 and Messidor-2 datasets, respectively, which outperformed the existing state-of-art models.